Your early voting cliff notes, part 2

Here was Part 1.

  • State Treasurer.  This seat is open since incumbent Dale Folwell is running in the GOP primary for governor.  Longtime NCGOP activist AJ Daoud is one of the three candidates seeking to fill Folwell’s big shoes.  Daoud has been quite active in the party and has put his name on the ballot for a few different things on a few different occasions.  He does not strike us as being particularly qualified for the treasurer job. Daoud and his wife have also been quite public in their support for senator Thom Tillis — even going as far as criticizing this site for daring to criticize the senator.  Chapel Hill resident Brad Briner was recruited into the race by Jim Blaine, senator Phil Berger’s top political adviser.  Briner has sat quietly on the UNC Board of Trustees while DEI, anti-Jewish behavior, and other radical left antics have increased in regularity across the campus.  Briner is one of three people managing billionaire lefty Michael Bloomberg‘s assets.  Briner’s direct boss managed Obama’s Detroit bailout and  was embroiled in a 2010 scandal involving the New York State employees pension fund.  Briner claims he is not a big fan of investment strategies like ESG, even though his direct boss AND Bloomberg ARE.  This guy sounds like a way back into North Carolina State investing for Wall Street vultures who have been clamped down upon by Folwell over the last eight years.  The third member of this trio of candidates, Rachel Johnson, is a former banker.  She’s the wife of former DPI superintendent Mark Johnson.  While in banking, she says she specialized in retirement planning and earned several advanced certifications in the investment field. Johnson makes a point of painting herself as a Folwell fan who will continue with his management style at the treasurer’s office.  If you’ve been happy with the job Folwell has been doing as treasurer, it sounds like Rachel Johnson is your best bet.

  • Agriculture.   We have absolutely no opinion here. Do whatever you want.  The former head of “Farmers for John Edwards” is the incumbent in this job.
  • Auditor.  Despite her antics at Rufus Edmisten’s Christmas party, Beth Wood did a decent job as auditor.  Her troubles there played a big part in her decision to not seek reelection.   There is a crowd seeking this job. Two members of that crowd – Jeff Tarte and Dave Boliek – earn a big ol’ HELL NO from us.  Boliek is a recruit by the Berger political machine who has been a Republican for all of fifteen minutes.  (Please don’t mistake him for his dad who did a great job on TV years ago for ABC11.)  Tarte used to serve in the state Senate. (He was ousted a few election cycles back when voters could hardly tell the difference between him and his Democrat opponent.) Tarte hails from Mecklenburg County and has been a passionate member of Team Tillis.  Just say NO NO NO to both of those.  Two we think you should seriously consider? Jim Kee and Charles Dingee.  Kee actually has auditing experience.  Dingee’s outlook on the proper role of government really catches our attention in a good way.  If you twisted our arms, we’d have to say that – right now – Dingee has the edge in that head-to-head match.
  • Labor.  The word ‘conservative’ is being thrown around the political landscape like a hot potato.  It’s apparently getting dropped a lot, because it’s seriously been battered into a condition I can’t recognize anymore.  (‘Conservative’ does not equal ‘Republican.’  Sorry, but it DOESN’T.) The GOP field includes two polished examples of Raleigh Republicanism and two guys who probably have a lot of blue collars hanging in their closets.  State Rep. Jon Hardister and attorney Luke Farley have the best-funded, most-professional campaigns in the GOP field.  We’re not big fans of the state House GOP caucus right now.  They haven’t stood up for us much, and we’re not in the mood for standing up for any of them ( or promoting them to higher office, either).  Jon Hardister has been a member of House leadership and chairman of the higher ed committee.  He’s sat there quietly as Timmy and the boys have run wild – swinging from the chandeliers – and bolsheviks have tightened their grips on classrooms across North Carolina. Hardister has failed in his oversight role in the legislature.  He hasn’t even been close to the actual definition of ‘conservative.’   What makes you think he’ll be any better as labor commissioner?  And Luke Farley – he’s touting the endorsement of former commissioner Cherie Berry, who sources tell us spent most of her time in office out shopping.   There ARE two more candidates in the race: Chuck Stanley and Travis Wilson.  Both bring the perspective of the blue collar working man to the race, which we think is healthy.  Wilson’s libertarian philosophy in re: economics is also interesting to us.  Realistically, though, it’s either going to be Hardister or Farley who comes out on top at the end of the day on March 5.  Between those two, Luke Farley is your safer bet.