Sheriff candidates agree to debate
The two Republican candidates for Caldwell County sheriff appeared to agree Saturday to a debate, though there was no discussion of where or when it might take place.
Speaking at the Caldwell County Republican Party Precinct and County Convention, which met at the Caldwell County Public Library, Lance Wilson issued a challenge to incumbent Sheriff Alan Jones.
"I believe the truth will set you free," Wilson said in a loud tone. "I challenge you (Jones) to a public debate, with the facts, not just numbers and statistics."
Speaking after Wilson, Jones said, "I accept his challenge. I'll debate anybody, anywhere, about the job we've done."
The bulk of their remarks to the convention, however, were about their qualifications and beliefs.
Wilson talked about his previous service with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office and his current service as a trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol. He also told the delegates about his service to God, his church and his family. He talked about his support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Jones talked about his law enforcement service, saying his 26-year career is longer than his opponent's.
"When you see 'Proven Leader" on that sign, think I've done this a long time," Jones said. "So I must be doing something right."
Jones' talk was well-received, and many audience members stood up in support afterward.
"When you know the people who backed me in 2007 through now still feel that way, it's very overwhelming," Jones said afterward. "They've been through the hard times with me in this office."
Restoring trust was a recurring theme at the convention.and was echoed by the keynote speaker, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-11th. Meadows cited the IRS scandal and NSA domestic spying as two examples of how trust with the Obama administration is eroding.
"These are troubling and difficult times," Meadows said. "The most pressing question I get is, when am I going to be able to trust government again? We shouldn't give up hope. Keep the faith until we've restored the trust."
Meadows said it is not President Obama who holds supreme power on Capitol Hill, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Meadows expressed optimism the Republican Party would soon gain control of the U.S. Senate, but he said that this state must do its part by electing a Republican to replace the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
"We've got to deliver North Carolina," Meadows said. "Polls show we will pick up eight seats (in the election) and get a Senate majority."