N.C. Senate candidates speak at forum

Vann Tate

The four candidates in the N.C. State Senate District 36 Republican Primary spoke briefly last week during a candidate forum held in Yadkinville. Vying for the seat are Shirley Randleman, Eddie Settle, Vann Tate and Lee Zachary. The 36th district is a newly drawn district and includes Wilkes, Surry, Yadkin and Alexander counties.

Zachary currently serves as the N.C. House Representative for District 73 which includes Yadkin and Forsyth counties.

Randleman previously served in the N.C. State Senate for District 30 as well as in the N.C. House from 2009 to 2013.

Settle is a Wilkes County Commissioner.

Tate previously ran for Surry County Sheriff in the Republican Primary in 2018.

Each of the four were given a three minute time limit to share a little about themselves and why they are running to serve the 36th N.C. Senate District.

“I am a Christian conservative. I am pro life and I am pro gun,” said Randleman. She noted her 34 years of experience working in the court system in Wilkes County where she served as Clerk of Court as well as her previous experience as a legislator in both the N.C. House and Senate.

“I have taken a strong stand for the unborn. I have worked to enact pro-life legislation like the women’s right to know, like banning of sex-selection abortion in 2015,” she said.

“I whole heartedly support the second amendment. I’m a concealed carry card holder. I’m a member of the NRA,” she added.

“Also we must continue to support our public safety officers, emergency management and our medical personnel,” she also added, as well as mentioning support of senior citizens.

Zachary noted his former time as Mayor of Yadkinville and time as a legislator for the last eight years.

“I have voted for conservative bills the whole time I’ve been down there,” he said. “I’m pro-second amendment.”

“I try to vote not what I think is best, but what I think my constituents would think is best and vote for what the people of this district I feel like what they want. It’s not my seat, it’s the people’s seat,” he said.

“My concerns are education… something is wrong with the way the system is set up and I think it’s going to take a constitutional amendment to rectify that,” Zachary said. “You elect a superintendent of public instruction but they are controlled by the board that’s appointed by the governor, so I think in order to really rectify this problem it’s going to take a constitutional amendment to basically do away with the state board of education. You’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”

In his comments, Settle noted his business experience in cattle farming as well as with Nu-Line printing. Settle made a point to share about his chance to meet former President Donald Trump in 2019.

“I believe, in my heart, Donald Trump got more done as a business man than any politician,” Settle said, to applause from those in attendance at the forum.

Settle said one of his goals as a Wilkes Commissioners was to get the former North Wilkesboro Speedway re-opened and said that a race is now planned for this August.

“Because somebody went to Raleigh and fought and got us money, 18 million dollars to redo the track…you need to send somebody to Raleigh that will fight for Yadkin County, what Yadkin County needs… I will do that,” he said.

Tate began his comments by asking all veterans to stand and be recognized.

He noted he was a retired sergeant with N.C. Highway Patrol as well as an Eagle Scout with continued affiliations on various committees of the Boy Scouts of America.

“My issues to go and fight for you is pro-second amendment. If I have a question about the constitution, I keep it in my pocket,” Tate said, showing off the copy in his jacket pocket.

“They’re not going to take our guns away, not here in North Carolina, because the North Carolina constitution says what it says,” he said. “We don’t need the federal government tapping in on us. This is our state and we need to keep it that way and I will fight for you.”

“I will fight for pro-law enforcement and public safety. They need to be given the tools in their chest to use them and fight the crime we have in our state,” he added.