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Coleman strives for lieutenant governor spot again
BY CASH MICHAELS
FOR THE NCBPA
Editor's note - There are a large num
ber of African-American candidates run
ning for office in North Carolina during
the 2016 election, certainly one of the
largest ever. During this campaign season,
we will focus
on several of __________
know more ? fl
Coleman, it's about the issues and whether
North Carolina families are being treated
fairly by this economy and their govern
ment. With a life steeped in public service,
Coleman believes as lieutenant governor,
she can make a difference for those fami
lies, which is why she isvying again this
fall for the office.
"Public service is what I love,"
Coleman once told a questioner while
campaigning in Greensboro in 2012.
First Ms. Coleman has to win the
March 15 primary against Democratic
opponents Holly Jones, Ron Newton, and
Robert Wilson. If she wins that, Coleman
will be on the November ballot, along with
Libertarian J J. Summerell, seeking to
unseat first-term Lt. Governor Dan Forest,
who defeated Coleman by a slim margin in
She wants that rematch.
"The Republican majority running
things in Raleigh continues to unravel so
much of what built our great state ..."
Coleman says on her campaign website,
"... and all the while they've had a cheer
ing partner in our lieutenant governor. It's
time for a different approach."
Lieutenant governor is an elected posi
tion separate from governor in North
Carolina, meaning theoretically
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory could win
re-election, and Coleman, a Democrat,
could be elected as lieutenant governor.
Beyond being the next in line constitu
tionally in case, for some reason, the elect
ed governor is unable to fulfill his duties,
or presiding over important events in the
governor's absence, the N.C. lieutenant
governor also presides over the N.C.
Senate, voting there only to break a tie.
The lieutenant governor also chairs vari
ous state boards and commissions, includ
ing the state Board of Education and Board
of Community Colleges.
"Of course education is very key to our
future and our children's future," Coleman
told the African-American Caucus of the
N.C. Democratic Party last November in
Chapel Hill. "And community colleges are
important because they connect businesses
to the workforce training that's done for
Beyond all that, service as lieutenant
governor can be a springboard for a possi
ble run for governor in the future, political
observers say. Indeed, Gov. Beverly
Perdue first served as a state lawmaker,
then as a lieutenant governor before finally
winning the top seat in 2008, making his
tory as the first woman governor in North
If Coleman indeed wins in November,
she would be only the second African
American in the history of the state to be a
member of the N.C. Council of State - a
constitutional panel of the state's nine top
elected officials, chaired by the governor,
who make important decisions about the
borrowing of money, the sale of state prop
erty, and other matters.
When both governors Perdue and Pat
McCrory wanted approval of the Dorothea
Dix property in Raleigh, they both brought
the matter to the N.C. Council of State,
where thie governor, lieutenant governor,
secretary of state, attorney general, com
missioner of agriculture, commissioner of
insurance, commissioner of labor, supper
intendent.of public instruction, state treas
urer and state auditor then voted on it.
The only African-American ever to
serve oh it was the late Ralph Campbell Jr.,
the state auditor from 1993 to 2005.
Coleman is the mother of two, a grand
mother of two, and "a proud product of the
public school system of this state."
^ She was born and raised in Greenville,
earning her B.A. from N.C. A&T
University in Greensboro. She later earned
a master's in public administration from
the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate
School of Public and International Affairs.
In her public life and after teaching in
the classroom, Coleman was elected to the
Wake Board of Commissioners, chairing
that body. She was then elected to the
N.C. House, serving three terms, helping
to pass the Earned Income Tax Credit
"which helped put money back into the
pockets of working families," she says.
As a state lawmaker, Coleman also
helped to pass the Racial Justice Act,
which helped correct racial-biased death
penalty sentences. Both laws have since
been repealed by the Republican-led N.C.
Coleman is also proud of what
Democrats accomplished in giving women
access to affordable health care in the state,
tax incentives to small businesses, in addi
tion to more funding for education.
Indeed Coleman has blasted Lt. Gov.
Forest for suggesting that public education
in the state can be funded through the sale
of license plates, like the special one he
has on his car.
"It is the General Assembly's job to
fund education, and that's what we need to
do," Coleman said recently.
Coleman then went on to lead as the
director of the Office of State Personnel
from 2009 to 2012. She left that post in
2012 to first run for lieutenant governor.
She lost by a razor-thin 6,800-vote margin
to Dan Forest with 2.1 million votes cast
for her statewide.
"Raleigh is just not working for us any
more. We are working for Raleigh to fund
the wealthiest among us," Coleman told
the AAC-NCDP in November, noting how
Republican tax reform has shifted the tax
burden from the rich to working families,
and eliminated the childcare tax credit.
"We need somebody to go to Raleigh
and say, "Listen, let's start working for the
people of North Carolina," Linda Coleman
says about her candidacy for lieutenant
governor. "Let's bring North Carolina
Linda Sutton of Democracy North Carolina speaks to the Winston-Salem
Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
I 11 1 I
Linda Sutton of Democracy North Carolina, middle, is flanked by Elizabeth
Newton, left, and Denise Adams of the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Deltas partner with Democracy NC
to host voter education forum
Alumnae Chapter of Delta
Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
partnered with Democracy
North Carolina to host a
Voter Education Forum on
Saturday, Jan. 16.
The fbrum was held at
the Delta Aits Center in
Winston Salem and hosted
by the Chapter's Political
Linda Sutton, Special
Voter Registration for
Carolina, led the forum.
Sutton provided informa
tion on new N.C. voting
laws that will take effect
Beginning March IS,
2016 during the primary
election, a ghoto ID. will
be required to vote. There
are some exceptions
including voters who swear
they have a religious objec
tion to being photographed
and/or voters who use
curbside voting because of
their age or physical dis
These voters may show
a utility bill, bank state
ment, paycheck, or govern
ment document with name
and current address in lieu
of a photo ID.
However, if there are
voters who do not have a
photo ID., they can vote
via provisional ballot.
Voters should ask for
the provisional ballot at the
polls. These voters will
need to provide their birth
date and the last four digits
of their Social Security
"With the primary elec
tion on March 15, we have
a moral obligation to edu
cate ourselves and our
community on new voting
laws that will affect all of
us," said Elizabeth Newton,
President of the Winston
Salem Alumnae Chapter.
The event was free and
open to the public. Denise
Adams is the chair of the
Action Committee. For
more information regard
ing future education
forums, contact Elizabeth
Newton at 336-784-65<$
Volunteers to help with free tax returns
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
Certified volunteers with Forsyth Free
Tax will provide free tax preparation for
various 1040 return forms beginning
Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Interested individuals are asked to
bring a picture ID, Social Security Card for
themselves and each dependent they are
claiming, all W-2s and/or 1099s, employer
ID number or Social Security number of
childcare providers, and last year's tax
returns (if itemizing).
For direct deposit of any refund, please
bring a check or savings account informa
tion. Some locations and times for the free
tax preparation are as follows:
* 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays through
Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays
at Experiment in Self-Reliance, 3480
*4-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and
Thursdays at Goodwill Industries, 2760
Peters Creek Parkway
*4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and
Thursdays at Goodwill Industries, 2701
For a complete list of places, go to:
FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
FOR HEALTHY LIVING
FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
All locations. One membership.
Now when you join the Y, you can visit any YMCA in the state
as part of your membership, as well as the Gateway
YWCA in Winston-Salem.
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? More pool and gym
space, as well as ^
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personal training and