Sheriff Candidates Participate in WakeLP Sponsored Forum


Raleigh [Wed. Sep. 22, 2021]—A standing-room-only crowd packed Tobacco Road tonight to attend a Wake County Libertarian Party-sponsored forum for the nine announced candidates running for sheriff. The candidates who participated included Democrats Randy Baity, Joe Coley, Tommy Matthews, Willie Rowe, and Roy Taylor and Republicans David Blackwelder, Donnie Harrison, Stephanie Hopkins, and Tivon Howard. Current Sheriff Gerald Baker, a Democrat, did not respond to an invitation to attend.

After each candidate took a couple of minutes to introduce themselves, forum moderator Ken Penkowski asked some two dozen questions, directing each one to one or more candidates in order to ensure each candidate got roughly equal time. Consequently, every candidate did not have the opportunity to address every question. Here is a summary of their responses:

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Blue Voter Growth in Wake Bucks Red NC Tide

By Brad Hessel

Democratic voter registration continued to grow in Wake County in the first half of 2021, while Republican registration declined, a trend in stark contrast to what’s happening statewide. For the first time ever, as far back as the publicly posted N.C. State Board of Elections records go (1993), registered Democrats exceeded registered Republicans in Wake by more than 100,000. 

If the current trend holds through the second half of the year, it will be the fifth consecutive year the Democrat’s  growth has outpaced the Republicans in Wake.

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Wake Libertarians Elect New Executive Committee

The Libertarian Party of Wake County elected a new executive committee at its annual county convention on April 21. The new officers are Travis Groo, chair; Patrick Bowersox, vice chair; John Underwood, secretary; Steve Prins, treasurer, and; Dee Watson, at-large.

The new officers will serve a two-year term.

The convention also elected delegates to the state Libertarian Party Convention to be held June 18 to 20 at the Greensboro Shrine Club. WakeLP has the largest county delegation.

Under the leadership of outgoing chair David Ulmer, Wake Libertarians have steadily increased the number of candidates running in the county. They ran seven people for the General Assembly in 2016, 14 in 2018, and 13 in 2020.

The collective vote for Libertarian candidates in Wake County set a new all-time record high in 2020. Most voters in Wake could vote for Libertarians for U.S. President and Vice-President, U.S. Senate and House, and both state House and Senate.

The Libertarian Party is the third-largest party in North Carolina. Our vision is a free, peaceful, and prosperous North Carolina where every individual has the opportunity to pursue their unique vision of a rewarding and enriching life.


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