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Josh Stein’s Meet & Greet: NC is Always Worth Fighting For!

The Dec. 14 Meet & Greet for Josh Stein—Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current attorney general–attracted an overflow crowd that enthusiastically echoed his message that now is the time to fight right wing extremism in North Carolina.

Stein spoke of his own family’s commitment to a fairer, more prosperous state. “Back in the mid-1960s my father, Adam, moved to Charlotte so he could join Julius Chambers and James Ferguson to form North Carolina’s first integrated law firm,” Stein said. “And they won path-breaking victories in our nation’s legal battle against discrimination and for equality.  And they never stopped doing what was right, not even when someone firebombed their law office and burned it to the ground.  They and so many other heroes across the state teach us that some things are worth fighting for no matter how tough it is.”  

More than 50 years later, NC is once again in a fight against radical attacks on human rights. “Our home is under assault,” Stein said. “Right wing politicians are taking a sledgehammer to our democracy.”

He pointed out that the probable Republican gubernatorial candidate, Mark Robinson, has made no secret that he will strip reproductive rights.  “Mark Robinson wants to enact a total ban on abortion with no exceptions—not for rape, not for incest, not for the life and health of the mother, and it is wrong.  All of it is wrong.  All of it is backwards.  All of it must be stopped and it is on us to defend our home and fight for our people.”

Stein also referenced the NCGOP’s promotion of Trump’s lies, their efforts to impede green energy and other environmental programs across the state, and the anti-voter law that was described by the fourth circuit court as targeting black voters with “almost surgical precision.”

In contrast, Stein pointed to several recent actions by NC Democrats:

  • Opioid epidemic mitigation: Working with other states, NC pursued legal action to treat victims of the opioid epidemic, bringing $1.5 billion to the state to deal with the crisis.  

  •  Medicaid expansion: Throughout North Carolina, “thousands of people and organizations busted their tail for decades and this month we can cheer: NC has expanded Medicaid.”

  • HCA lawsuit: Stein explained that he had visited Asheville earlier in the day to announce a suit against HCA for breach of contract after their purchase of the Mission hospital system because “everyone in North Carolina deserves access to healthcare no matter where they live.”

  • Stein also emphasized his commitment to defending voting rights, explaining that he and Governor Cooper have filed a brief in the racial gerrymandering case challenging the new state senate maps drawn by NCGOP legislators. “Voting rights are our most fundamental of rights,” he said. “In our democracy the people should choose their representatives, not the other way around. The state should be about protecting not restricting the right to vote. There’s no price I wouldn’t pay to protect voting rights.”

Several Henderson County Democratic candidates and office holders also attended the Meet & Greet, including Michelle Antalec, HCDP chair and candidate for district 113; Fletcher Mayor Preston Blakely; Gina Baxter, Hendersonville City Council candidate; Mary Ellen Kustin, school board candidate; Dr. Steve Martinez, candidate for district 117; and Caleb Rudow, who is running to represent NC11 in Washington.

“Caleb could have stayed in his current office, which has actually become bluer, but he decided to step up to the challenge, to help excite voters and get out the vote,” Stein said. “He’s the example of selfless service that will make a difference.”

Stein said his work fighting for North Carolina has been a “blessing” and he is honored to take on big fights for all the people. “My faith teaches me that we are called to do our part to make a difference…. We know that right now in NC things are tough.  But we also know this: that the people of NC are always worth fighting for. Teachers who dig into their pockets to buy school supplies, first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe are worth fighting for. Parents working two jobs to provide a better future for their kids, community college students taking classes at night to learn a new trade are worth fighting for. So let’s do it.  Let’s come together. Let’s get to work and together we will build a NC that’s safer, stronger and more prosperous for everybody.” 


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