Lifetime of service to others, thinking ‘outside-the-box’ paved way for Michele Morrow’s 2024 foray into statewide politics

We’ve all heard of or seen the movie ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’  which details a frustrated Everyman’s long-shot, but eventually successful, bid to take on our federal government.   Here in 2024 North Carolina, we may be ready to produce that film’s sequel called ‘Mrs. Morrow Goes to Raleigh.’

At the start of the 2024 campaign season, Michele Morrow was best known for her resounding defeat in the 2022  Wake County Board of Education election. When Morrow filed to challenge incumbent DPI superintendent Catherine Truitt in the GOP primary, there weren’t many politics watchers taking her seriously.  (BIG Mistake.)

Morrow stunned the North Carolina politics universe by taking out Truitt in the March 5th GOP primary.   However, the snickering and whispering about her as a joke picked up steam.

But then we began to notice something strange.  Quite a bit of the major-league professional Left began targeting Morrow.  CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and others started swinging away at the suburban mom who had pulled off the biggest upset of the young North Carolina politics season.

Media Matters – a leftist DC based slime factory which has taken on the likes of Donald Trump and the late Rush Limbaugh – decided they needed to take a few swings at Mrs. Morrow.

It’s an awfully unusual, strong reaction to have in response to someone who is supposedly such a big joke.

There has been talk among the GOP establishment of abandoning Morrow in November and conceding the DPI seat to Democrats.  But grassroots activists from Murphy to Manteo have clearly telegraphed the message that they aren’t about to let that happen.  Two long-time, prolific donors and fundraisers for North Carolina Republicans are hosting a Raleigh fundraiser for Morrow on April 10. 

 WHY? You’d have to ask Morrow, a married mother of five from the Raleigh suburbs, why on Earth she’d put herself through all of the hassle and obnoxiousness that IS running for office these days.  We caught up with her to talk about this and other subjects.

“I worry about whether our kids will be able to compete in coming years,’’ Morrow told us. “Is an onslaught of DEI, CRT, SEL and other left-wing sacred cows really going to be enough to help our kids be good employers or employees when they graduate?’’

Morrow told us she’s a big fan of allowing more options when it comes to educating our children.

“One size does not always fit all.  Sometimes you need options or adjustments to meet students’ needs,’’ Morrow told us. “I’d like to see some options out there for our kids.  Public schools, private schools, charter schools.  I’d like to see parents and their kids presented with as many quality choices as possible.’’

Morrow said she appreciated having choices when it came to educating her daughter, who is special needs.   The candidate said the schools in the locale where her family resided at the time just were not giving her daughter what she needed.

“She was spending all day at school,’’ Morrow said. “Then, she would come home and we would spend three to four hours on the stuff she was supposed to be learning at school.’’

Morrow said the family determined, after talking with her daughter’s school and investigating some other options, that homeschooling would be the best option.   The candidate said the move produced fantastic results.  Her daughter is currently pursuing a college degree. 

Morrow joined forces with some other homeschooling parents to organize something called a curriculum collective.  Parents formed a homeschooling faculty – teaching classes based on their own specialties from college and the working world.  (Morrow said she has taught subjects ranging from biology to chemistry, Spanish to even government and civics.)

“The kids had a college-style schedule,’’ Morrow explained. “They would go to class all day Tuesday and Thursday.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday they would work independently from home reaching out to parents and other teachers when they had questions or needed help.’’

A background of service to others.   Before she was a mother, an education advocate, and a political candidate, Michele Morrow was a nurse – a career track that has more than its fair share of classroom and hitting-the-books time.   Her assignments ranged from a neurosurgical intensive care unit, to an emergency room, and to a labor-and-delivery unit.

“Nurses often find themselves spending as much, if not more, time with patients as doctors do,’’ Morrow said. “You find yourself acting as a mentor and an educator as part of helping them recover and get back to their regular lives.’’

One of the breaks Morrow took from nursing occurred during her four-year stint with a permanent mission in Mexico.  The candidate, who is fluent in Spanish, helped lead efforts to teach locals English, and to tutor them in math and other important job skills.

Morrow and her husband also managed a youth wilderness camp in mountainous rural Colorado.  They both taught survival skills to campers.  Morrow leaned on her medical training to advise campers on various first-aid and life-saving techniques.

The Job. The candidate said she has a pretty good understanding of what she would be facing at the state Department of Public Instruction.

“Critical thinking is such an important skill for our kids to acquire,” Morrow said. “It’s a skill we need to put to use more often when considering the state of education. We need to be constantly studying our system and asking ourselves: ‘Can we do this better?”’

The candidate admits that success at DPI will require a lot of teamwork.  “The General Assembly is a very key, very important player in our state’s education system,” Morrow said.”I helped lead recent successful efforts, like the Parents’ Bill of Rights, through the legislature.  I have some good relationships at the legislature that have reaped benefits in the past, and should continue to do so when I am at DPI.”