Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, March 1, 2018

United, Plainfield Democrats prep for 2018 Primary

Plainfield Democrats are gearing up for
the 2018 Primary elections.


After a tumultuous month attending to Union County Democratic Committee business, Plainfield Democrats finally got a chance on Wednesday evening to tend to their own concerns.

In a meeting of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee called by chairman Adrian O. Mapp, Queen City Dems made plans for the 2018 Primary Election. Nearly two thirds of the group's elected members were present, which is not bad for a mid-week meeting called on rather short notice.

After the bruising campaign for the County chairmanship, the bonhomie in Plainfield was palpable. Like a family, everyone came together and made ready for the next adventure.

After opening the meeting, Chairman Mapp noted that though treasurer Mary Burgwinkle was not present owing to a Shade Tree Commission meeting, what he could say was that the PDCC needs money "to keep the lights on." His remark brought knowing laughter.

The business of the evening was the selection of candidates for the 2018 primary races -- in the First Ward and Wards 2/3 at-large.

Two residents who had expressed interest in the First Ward race -- Gail Smith Alexander and Ashley Davis -- were introduced and, along with Ward 2/3 incumbent Joylette Mills-Ransome were invited to speak to the members present. (Ward 1 incumbent Diane Toliver was not present and did not make a pitch for the nomination.)

Smith Alexander, who recently retired from the Union County Sheriff's Department with the rank of captain, noted that she had been politically active under the late mayor Al McWilliams but had stepped aside while pursuing a career course. Now that she is retired, she has the time and interest in serving the residents of the First Ward on the Council. A lifelong resident and graduate of Plainfield High School, she has a special interest in at-risk youth.

Davis, also a Plainfield native, earned a master's degree in public administration in 2015, and cirrently works in the Division of Recreation. She made an upbeat case for her age group, saying she is "no longer the generation of the future...[but] the generation of now".

As an undergraduate she gained valuable experience as an intern with the North Carolina Democratic Party. She put that experience to good use already in Plainfield, where she defeated the incumbent councilwoman for her seat on the Democratic City Committee. Davis noted she would resign her position with the city if elected.

Chairman Mapp noted that the usual procedure was for a slate to be presented to be voted up or down, but since there was no time for a vetting procedure, the group would vote on the spot.

Mill-Ransome, who is currently serving the balance of an unexpired term, was given the line by a unanimous voice vote.

In voting for the First Ward candidate, chairman Mapp asked voting members to stand and raise their hands until all were tallied. In the end, Davis received 23 votes to 17 for Smith Alexander, so she is the official Democratic candidate for the Ward 1 seat.

Davis and Mills-Ransome began circulating their nominating petitions immediately following the meeting's adjournment. Those petitions are due on Monday, April 2.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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