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Meet the Candidates: NC House District 3

As the 2018 Democratic primary approaches, we’d like to help you get to know the candidates… so over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing “Meet the Candidates” for all of the Democratic primary candidates in Craven County.

Today’s installment is NC House District 3, which encompasses the southern/eastern half of Craven County. District 3 is currently represented by Republican Michael Speciale, one of the most divisive and partisan Republicans in Raleigh (which is really saying something). Speciale is exactly the kind of legislator that makes the NC General Assembly a laughingstock nationwide: publicly attacking Rev. William Barber, calling the millions who marched in the Women’s March (including 600+ in New Bern) “a joke,” working to rig North Carolina’s elections with racist vote-suppression laws and Republican gerrymanders, opposing common-sense gun safety reforms, and sponsoring an attempt last year — yes, in 2017! — to take marriage away from same-sex couples in North Carolina.

This year, we’ve got two great Democratic candidates working to get the nomination to unseat Speciale: Charles Dudley and Barbara Lee. One-Stop Early Voting for the 2018 primary starts April 19, with Election Day on May 8. Cast your vote early, and bring a family member, friend, or neighbor with you so they can vote too!

Reminder: The Craven County Democratic Party doesn’t endorse candidates in competitive Democratic primaries. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. Candidate bios and photos were provided to the Craven County Democratic Party by the campaigns.

Charles Dudley

A husband, father and grandfather, Charles Dudley has spent his life being a difference-maker. His entire career has involved serving his country and community, first as a United States Marine and then as a minister. Now he is seeking the opportunity to make a difference in his state by serving District 3 in the NC House of Representatives.

PLATFORM: “Our state’s government is serious business,” said Charles. “At stake are people’s rights, safety and livelihoods. I intend to take the job of being your representative as seriously as it deserves. I will not abuse the privilege of serving you by catering to special interests, pet projects, pet peeves or petty issues. I will listen, learn and make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of all of my constituents. I will remain flexible and be responsive to what my constituents want. And, I promise to fight for you when needed, but all times to act with fairness and compassion.”

PRIORITIES: With Republicans in charge of the General Assembly, North Carolina’s ranking in public education fell from 19th in the country in 2011 to 41st in 2017; one of Charles’ priorities is to significantly reverse that trend. He also wants to bring down North Carolina’s high incarceration rate, which costs taxpayers approximately $35,000 a year per prisoner, by proactively investing in public education and jobs training and by supporting programs that decrease recidivism. He also supports raising the minimum wage, improving access to affordable healthcare, protecting the environment, enacting sensible gun regulations, and protecting the rights of all citizens. He believes voters should choose the politicians; politicians shouldn’t get to choose the voters. “Racial and partisan gerrymandering is an enemy of our democracy and I will fight to stop it.”

BIO: Charles, who served as a U.S. Marine for 22 years (1980- 2002) as a marksmanship instructor and a drill instructor, is a Desert Storm veteran. From 1989 to 1993, he was stationed at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He and his wife, Marion Smith-Dudley, a farmer’s daughter from Pamlico County and former high-school registrar and retail manager, returned to Craven County following his retirement from the Marines. They have made it their home for the past 15 years. Charles earned his Bachelor of Theology degree in 1998 from Sacramento Theological Seminary. He and Marion are pastors and founders of the New Beginnings Ministry of Faith Church in Havelock. Charles is the Director of Division J’s, Area 93, Toastmasters International, which oversees clubs in New Bern, Havelock, Cherry Point and Morehead City, and the Vice President Membership for the Sound of Freedom Toastmasters International. He currently serves as a board member for Coastal Community Action. He is also a director of the New Bern chapter of the GoldWing Road Riders (Motorcycle) Association.

Connect with Charles Dudley:
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Barbara Lee

Elected Office: Barbara Lee has extensive experience in local and state government, having had the privilege of being elected to the New Bern Board of Alderman, where she served continuously for 22 years as a representative of the city’s Fifth Ward. Upon the death of Representative William Wainwright in 2012, she was appointed to serve the remainder of his term as a member of the North Carolina State House of Representatives (District 12).

Public Service: As a native New Bernian, Barbara has developed an acute awareness of her community’s concerns and a passion for serving as a voice for promoting the interests of her community, as demonstrated through her lifetime commitment to public service. She is actively involved as a member of the CarolinaEast Hospital Board, the New Bern Housing Authority Board, and the NC Small Business Council. She is a strong advocate for children and for the development of programming and other educational resources that build the foundation for a successful future. As Founder and Executive Director of the Area Day Reporting Center for the Youth, she spearheaded the establishment of a 21st Century Community Learning Center After-School for Youth program and other activities that inspire and empower at-risk children.

Commitment to You: A State can only be as great as the most vulnerable of its citizens. As your Representative, Barbara will focus on addressing citizen concerns in a fiscally responsible and culturally competent way that will result in a stronger community and state. She will partner with you to identify and implement solutions that improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians, urging the leadership of the State House to be sensitive to the needs of all the State’s citizens and to be committed to channeling available resources to areas of greatest need. She is firmly committed to continuing her political legacy of promoting smart, progressive initiatives that will propel North Carolina to the heights of social, cultural and economic achievement.

Connect with Barbara Lee: