Democratic group publishes sheriff videos

Staff report

LUMBERTON — The Robesonian, acting at the request of the Democratic Women of Robeson County, has published at robesonian.com three videos from candidates for sheriff during which they make their case for your vote.

According to the organization, Randy Graham, James Jones and Burnis Wilkins accepted its request to appear for the video. Caroline Sumpter, president of the organization, said George Kenworthy declined and the organization was unable to reach Ronnie Patterson.

“The Democratic Women of Robeson County are excited to collaborate with our local news media outlets to promote voter education and spread awareness,” Sumpter said. “Many voters do not vote because they do not feel connected to any of the candidates. By assisting candidates in sharing their platforms and messages in different ways, it results in having a more informed population that will vote.”

The Robesonian promised before the videos were made that it would publish for broad circulation the videos if they were provided to the newspaper. The videos with Randy Graham, Burnis Wilkins and James Jones can be accessed on the organization’s YouTube channel.

“We continue to believe that the more information that the candidates provide the people about their plans should they be elected sheriff, the better,” said Denise Ward, the publisher of the newspaper. “So we are glad to help with that.”

Graham, Jones, Wilkins, Patterson and Kenworthy are all Democrats running in the May 8 primary; there is no Republican candidate, so the winner of the primary will replace Kenneth Sealey, the sheriff since 2005 when he was first appointed. Sealey won election in 2006, and was re-elected to four-year terms in 2010 and 2014.

Angela Carter, a member of the party, did the videography. Candidates were given the opportunity to speak for 3 to 5 minutes.

Two forums during which the sheriff’s candidates can be heard have been scheduled during the next two weeks.

The Democratic Women of Robeson County will hold its forum on April 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Red Springs community center. The public has been invited to ask questions, which will be presented by a moderator to the candidates. To submit a question, send it to [email protected] or at the Democratic Women of Robeson County’s Facebook page. The public is welcome.

Graham, Jones, Patterson and Wilkins have committed to attend the forum, according to Sumpter.

Residents will have a chance on Tuesday to hear more from the sheriff’s candidates during a forum that is being sponsored by the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce and The Robesonian. The forum will take place at the Carolina Civic Center at 6:30 p.m.

Candidates for district attorney have also been asked to participate in the nonpartisan forum, which will have a question-and-answer format. The candidates have been given the questions so that they can prepare.

The Robesonian will live stream the forum on its Facebook page.

Staff report