NC Senate GOP candidate Marcum publicly endorsed a Democrat in 2010







Pinehurst’s John Marcum is one of three GOP candidates seeking the district 29 NC Senate seat this year.  Marcum is working hard to convince GOP activists to vote for him in May.  One problem he may have in doing that is a letter he wrote to our Nobel Prize-winning local paper in 2010 endorsing a Democrat candidate:

As people head for the polls, it is well to remember that we were recently denied our right to vote on one of the largest bond issues in the history of Moore County. This was on a $52 million bond for a huge detention center in Carthage and some utility improvements. As a result of this expenditure and our declining property values, a large increase in our tax rate is certain. Our ability to pay for other needed improvements, such as a new courthouse and school improvements, are also in question.

William Garner is running as a newcomer for the Board of Commissioners and would bring some needed balance to the board. His opponent, Jimmy Melton, has been unresponsive to public concerns and engaged in shameless bloc voting to support unwise spending increases. In contrast, Garner appears to have several advantages

Garner is well educated, a good family man and a successful businessman. He is well known in Pinebluff as a tireless volunteer in the park system and as a councilman. He is very supportive of public safety, court facilities and school needs. With his MBA training he will insist on careful planning to accommodate these needs within our funding constraints. In particular, he will work with the other commissioners to restore good governance and the people’s right to be heard on major spending issues.

Change is needed urgently in the Board of Commissioners. Garner is a solid conservative and good citizen who deserves the trust of Moore County voters whether Democrat, Republican or tea party. Vote for change and Garner!

John Marcum


The  first two paragraphs of his letter have little basis in fact.  First, there is no rightonly an option — to vote on bond issues.  There are two routes to take on bond issues.  One, where there is a public vote, puts the citizenry at risk of being subjected to a tax increase in the case of cost overruns or revenue shortfalls.  The second route is the one the commissioners took.  It’s much safer — avoiding a lot of risk for county finances and taxpayers.  If the project in question runs runs into financial trouble, the creditors merely take possession of the project.

Second, a review of official AUDITED county records show county spending on a downward trend since 2009.  Third, the debt Marcum references is amortized over 40 years.  County budget projections show there being more than enough revenue to meet debt repayment obligations (without requiring a tax increase).  Fourth, school improvements are up to the school board and the superintendent, whose pot of money comes mostly from the state.

(Also, for the record, Republican incumbent Melton was easily reelected in 2010. ) 

A Republican candidate getting too cozy with Democrats was a source of concern here in Moore County not too long ago.  I believe the controversy involved one of our former state legislators. (What WAS his name?)

14 thoughts on “NC Senate GOP candidate Marcum publicly endorsed a Democrat in 2010


    In the above article Marcum and his wife tried to keep the downtown Post office from being closed by the US postal service. So I am very curious. The US postal service is losing money, our money, they are trying to consolidate and try to reduce their losses, our money, and John Marcum wants to spend more tax dollars to the bad. Yet he doesn’t want to spend money on a jail which is sorely needed for the safety of our law enforcement and the citizens of Moore County. Hmmmmmm, can we say double standard anyone?

    1. Our historic PO was one of the few in the US that was actually making a small profit. We also supported the need for a larger jail but thought the proposal was too large and costly, and should be put to a referendum as had every bond issue in Moore Co’s history that exceeded $ten million.

  2. Our editor seems to have an odd perspective. To say “there is no right, only an option to vote…” runs counter to the Constitution and the lesson of the Boston Tea Party–no taxation without representation. In Moore County, there had been a long standing agreement that any bond over $10 million would have to be subject to a vote. Since the Commissioners feared it would not pass, they decided to engage in block voting and ram it through, refusing citizens their right to vote. In fact, most of ua were supportive of the need for an expanded jail, but thought the proposed one was too large and costly, some also questioned its location. This denial of the vote was the reason for trying to get a newcomer elected to the Commission.

    Incidentally, this wasn’t about near term spending, but about long term borrowing. With this bond, our long term indebtedness including interest has now risen from $50 million to $250 million. There is virtually no room for further borrowing to meet additional future needs. The sharp drop in housing prices, which is not yet accounted for in our tax appraisals, will make it difficult to retire this debt in the near term.

    As a life long Republican, having served under President Reagan and been appointed by him to an international economic post, I believe very strongly in returning to our Constitutional values, reducing the government role in our daily lives, stopping environmental overreach, and eliminating excess spending and programs. I will apply these values and skills to the many challenges lying ahead for Moore County and NC, including our growth and the upcoming US Opens. I believe it is vital to keep our Senate seat in Moore Co and not hand it over to a long term outsider from Randolph who couldn’t even hang on to his seat and voters during the redistricting.

    1. How does the bond for the jail increase our debt from 50 to 250 million. I love the way people make up figures to support their position. I’ve discussed this with John a number of times and told him directly that the public safety center project had already spent 3.1 million when commissioner Morgan proposed a bond referendum. Funny, we had discussed paying for this project and not one time did any commissioner mention a referendum until the project was ready to be awarded for construction. I wonder if this would have even been mentioned had we chosen to build the safety center down the hill as commissioners Lea and Morgan voted for. This option, according to the architects was MORE expensive than what we are building So get off this bond referendum vote, it was simply offered at the last minute to offer more distraction from solving he problem. The public safety complex will cost 41 million including interest over 20 years if the bonds are not called. Most of the county debt is to repay schoo

  3. So thats why you endorsed a liberal democrat over a sitting republican because of one disagreement? That just shows once more the eratic nature of your judgment. We can’t afford to have that kind of judgment in Raliegh.

  4. You still didn’t address the fact that you endorsed, publicly a liberal democrat against a sitting GOP commissioner.

  5. “Couldn’t even hang on to his seat and voters during redistricting.” Huh? If John thinks trading Montgomery for Moore weakened Senator Tillman’s position, then he clearly doesn’t know Moore County.

    1. Easy, Brad.

      Tillman lost most of his entire former district, and is now left with only half his home county and few of his supporters. His only hope is to capture the majority of Moore County. He is running around our county with literature saying “re-elect” him even though he knows little about our needs and has never received a vote in Moore County. Is he weakened?

      As for my knowlege of Moore County, I guess you’re just kidding. I went to school in Southern Pines, played on its teams against the other schools in the County, worked for the A&P store, then the lumber yard in West End, and measured tobacco for the county on many Moore County farms. So I know a little about our county as I’m sure you do as well. Please join us in trying to keep our senate seat here in Moore as it has been for many years instead of handing it over to a tired, long term legislator who knows nothing about us and will forget us the moment he is elected.

      1. No, he’s not weakened. He traded a heavily dem county for a strong conservative county. He’s rated as one of the most conservative in the NC Senate. Weakened? I think Senator Tillman is a perfect fit for Moore County.
        Using your logic, I guess you voted for John Edwards. Yep, he’d probably try to keep two post offices open in one village as well. And, of coarse, he endorses Democrats.

        1. Brad. you still don’t get it. Tillman lost all of Montgomery and much of Randolph and all his supporters there. Also, can you say “term limits”? If he’s a perfect fit, you don’t understand the need demonstrated in the election of 2010 for new energetic leadership with real skills to help our legislature get the job done. This guy is a long way from fitting that bill.

          1. How many elections have you won? I don’t get it? We vote for this office every two years. We can limit anyone’s term at the polls, anytime.
            I don’t think you understand that Senator Tillman is a strong conservative, and a good guy. He does have support in Moore, and, to my knowledge, has never endorsed a democrat over a sitting Republican. So, why is it you’re running this time?

          2. Mr. Marcum you can’t even win in Pinehurst. How do you expect to win in a race where you will have to carry a vast majority of Moore County to win?
            You are a typical politician. You endorsed a democrat over a sitting republican and you still are dodging questions about it.
            You continually try to stir up controversy for your own political gain and ambition.
            I know that you have blind ambition but don’t play the voters of this county for fools.

  6. Thanks Nick for showing us the true numbers. The sad thing is that the truth has never gotten in the way of Mr. Marcum’s ideas or positions.

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