08/07/16 — Lt. Gov. Forest makes stop in Rosewood

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Lt. Gov. Forest makes stop in Rosewood

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on August 7, 2016 1:45 AM

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Lt. Gov. Dan Forest speaks with Wayne County residents about his goals on Saturday.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest served up some Southern hospitality with free ham biscuits and laid-back conversation in the parking lot of Walmart in the Rosewood community Saturday.

Forest's stop in Goldsboro, between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., was part of a six-city tour through eastern North Carolina Saturday. Forest, a Republican, is seeking re-election to office in the Nov. 8 general election and is being challenged by Democrat Linda Coleman and Libertarian Jacki Cole.

"It's just a good way to meet folks and let people know that we, at least, care enough to show up in their town," Forest said. "This is more a meet-and-greet kind of thing, where if somebody has something they want to talk about, then that's what we do."

Anywhere from 30 to 40 local residents showed up to talk with the lieutenant governor, ask questions and lend support.

"I came out to meet Lt. Gov. Dan Forest," said Leigh Anne Franklin. "I just wanted to speak to him personally. We talked about his plans and conservatism, and that kind of thing. I liked him very much. I think he's a smart young man."

Franklin said she is nonpartisan and supports both parties equally. She thought the visit to Goldsboro offered a convenient opportunity to meet one of this year's election candidates.

"It was convenient not to have to go to another county to see him," she said. "I'm really glad he did."

James Hill, who lives in the Rosewood community, stopped by the campaign tent, which was set up next to Forest's red, white and blue bus.

Hill, a local business owner, showed up to show his support. Hill supports North Carolina Republican leaders and believes their policies have helped improve the economy and reduce unemployment rates.

"There was so much unemployment before," Hill said. "It was kind of hard to get people to work. Now, you can get people a little bit more than you used to get a few years ago."

"I support him, and I'm hoping that we have us a good year this year."

Shelena Toulson also attended to get a chance to meet Forest for the first time. As a middle grade and high school teacher, she also enjoyed the chance to interact with a state politician, an experience she plans to take back to the classroom.

"I wanted to meet Dan Forest myself," she said. "I'm just a nobody, but he came over himself and spoke to me. I talked to him about being thankful that he was in the position he's in, and that I would be praying for him and his family. He was very confident but down-to-earth."

Michele Nix, vice chairwoman of the N.C. Republican Party, drove into Goldsboro from her Kinston home for the event.

"I came to Goldsboro to support Dan Forest for lieutenant governor because we need to continue the Carolina Comeback and keep North Carolina red," Nix said.

Forest started his bus tour in Smithfield early Saturday morning before traveling to Goldsboro. He also continued to other cities and towns, including Kenansville, Burgaw, Wilmington and Whiteville. At the stops, he served either Bojangles biscuits, hot dogs or RC colas and moonpies.

"Bojangles is a North Carolina company, so we support them," Forest said. "Who doesn't like a Bojangles biscuit? It's amazing how many people like RC colas and moonpies.

"We'll be doing this, pretty much, every Saturday for the foreseeable future, anyway. In rural North Carolina, people care that you cared enough to come to their town."