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Editorial: Local political parties take the higher road

Thank goodness for Davie County. And this time around, thank goodness for politics in Davie County.

But we have nothing but good things to say about the Davie County Republican Party and the Davie County Democratic Party. Led by chairs Jon Welborn for the Republicans, and Dr. Erma Jeffries for the Democrats – they have shown that they care about our community. They do it with words and with action.

Let’s start with Jon Welborn. It isn’t new, but you may have seen him during the past week riding around in his pickup truck, walking along the roads, picking up political signs. He does it every year. Right after the election. He also accepts signs at his Mocksville office, and at the GOP headquarters.

That in itself is worthy of praise. Like those pesky television commercials, political signs along the roads are nothing less than litter. And it doesn’t say much about us if we really elect people based on the number or quality of their roadside signs.

Yes, there may still be some signs out there, but don’t count the ones in people’s yards. That’s their business. And with the way the 2020 presidential election has gone, they’re probably more Trump/Pence signs hanging around. Just in case.

Welborn didn’t stop there this year.

When local voters couldn’t find their record of voting online – which they did by the hundreds, just ask a worker at the Davie Board of Elections – they started complaining to the board of elections, and especially on Facebook, trying to rile up their homies into thinking something foul was afoot. Some even called it fraud, a case of the Democrats trying to steal the election.

Welborn stepped in, as he should have. A true Republican and one of the staunchest Trump supporters I know, he helped to calm the storm. There is no fraud going on in Davie elections, he wrote in a post on Facebook. The board of elections and the election office staff – led by Tabatha Parrish – shouldn’t be blamed for something they didn’t do.

He wrote: “I have not been informed of any wrongdoing or errors made by our local board of elections during this election. In fact I have only heard great things about how they are handling every aspect of the process. So let’s be patient and allow them to do what they need to do.” Words from a leader if I’ve ever heard them.

Thank you, Jon. Regardless of your politics, you serve your community well.

And then there’s Dr. Erma Jeffries. Last month, two teen boys were caught stealing Biden/Harris signs the Democratic Party had placed along roads around Mocksville. When I say they were caught, there was video proof. Jeffries could have used the moment to add fuel to an already stoked fire, showing just how low those Republicans would steep.

But she didn’t. Instead, she took the high road. Working with Det. Logan Fox of the Mocksville Police Department, the boy’s parents, the juvenile justice system and the district attorney’s office, she helped work out a plan to have the boys make retribution without becoming criminals. They had to do community service, write letters of apology about the importance of fair and free elections, replace the signs. That’s not to mention additional punishment likely levied by the parents.

Thank you, Erma. Regardless of your political party, you serve your community well.

Yes, here in Davie County, we care about each other. We may fuss and fight a bit, but deep down, we care. After all, this is our home. Republicans. Democrats. Those of us stuck somewhere in between. White. Black. Those stuck somewhere in between.

Just like battling the pandemic – when it comes to politics and choosing our leaders – we’re all in this together.

– Mike Barnhardt