Last updated: April 22. 2014 8:27PM - 2060 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com

Will Stinson
Will Stinson
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In the congressional primary, one candidate has filed on the Republican ballot to challenge longtime incumbent, Virginia Foxx, for her seat in representing the 5th District in the United States House of Representatives. Philip Doyle, of Clemmons, will challenge Foxx for the seat. Gardenia Henley, Will Stinson, Michael Holleman and Josh Brannon are running on the Democrat ballot. Each candidate was asked a series of questions about themselves and their run in the primary race for the congressional 5th District seat. Brannon was contacted several times via email and telephone, but did not respond as of press time.

Republican Candidates

Virginia Foxx

Candidate Bio

Virginia Foxx graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Doctorate in Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Foxx and her husband ran a successful nursery and landscaping business in the High Country for more than 30 years before she served in Congress.

The nonpartisan National Journal has ranked Foxx as the most conservative Member of North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation and the American Conservative Union called her one of the “best and brightest” members of Congress.

Virginia and her husband, Tom, have been married for 50 years and live in Watauga County. The Foxxes enjoy gardening, attending church and spending high quality time with their two grandchildren.

Q: You previously considered a run for senate, why did you decide to run for reelection for your congressional seat?

A: “The encouragement I received to enter the Senate race was truly humbling; I elected not to do that because of my dedication to serving the people of the 5th District—which I believe is the best job in North Carolina. My interests are in working on legislation that will improve the lives of North Carolinians and reducing the role of government in our lives. To be honest, there are more opportunities to do that in the House than in the Senate. My expertise and experience have put me in an excellent position to effect major positive changes in policies and laws that will affect many, many Americans, including Fifth District citizens.

Q: What ways can and have you helped the constituents in your home district?

A: “During my time serving in the House I have helped thousands of constituents navigate and overcome the endless bureaucracy of the federal government. This includes working every day to ensure that veterans get the care they deserve, that small businesses can fight off unnecessary regulations and that seniors understand how to navigate programs like Social Security. In addition, I work directly with 5th District constituents from all walks of life each day to ensure their government is responsive, transparent and accountable.

I also have passed a number of bills and amendments to help create jobs, improve the lives of North Carolinians and reduce the size and reach of government. For example, in the past year I introduced, and the House passed, two pieces of legislation to promote sustainable job-creation and reduce the burden of federal bureaucracy. The first, the SKILLS Act, reforms federal workforce development programs to make them more transparent and worker-friendly so more Americans can access the kind of 21st century training that allows them to obtain high quality jobs. The second, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, will hold the federal government accountable for job-killing regulations and mandates and ensure that North Carolina job-creators and entrepreneurs are not crushed beneath a mountain of bureaucratic red-tape.

Q: What do you think are the top issues facing the people of the 5th right now and how have you been addressing those issues in congress?

A: “The top issues facing people in the 5th District are job creation and economic growth. Of course, our unsustainable national debt is closely related to the America’s ability to create jobs and grow our economy, so I’m fighting to reduce the size of government and our national debt.

“Promoting strong economic growth and the creation of good North Carolina jobs are some of my top priorities. That’s why I introduced and the House passed two bills, the SKILLS Act and the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act. These bills will encourage job growth and will get the government out of the way of small businesses and innovators who want to grow their businesses and hire more workers.”

Q: If you could say one thing to the voters in Yadkin County who will be heading to the polls on May 6, what would that be?

A: “Thank you for the honor of serving you. My hope is to continue to be your representative in Washington, fighting to defend and uphold the Constitution and our tradition of limited government.”

Philip Doyle

Candidate Bio

Philip Doyle was born in Arlington, Virginia and raised in Anaheim, California. He left California in 1978 to attend the University of Washington. Graduating in 1982, he was Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He served for 12 years on active duty as an Infantry Officer and as an Aerial Observer crew member in OV-10 aircraft. After leaving active duty in 1994, Philip began his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) studies at the Babcock Graduate School of Business at Wake Forest University. Graduating in 1996, Philip began a new career as a professional real estate practitioner. He practiced commercial real estate in Winston-Salem with the Meridian Realty Group for five years before joining Lowe’s Home Improvement as a corporate Real Estate Manager for seven years. In his professional practice, Philip is highly credentialed. He is a licensed Broker, Broker-in-Charge designee, Realtor, Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) and Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate (SLCR).

Philip lives in Clemmons with his wife Rose of 26 years. They are members of Holy Family Catholic Church. They have two grown children, Ryan and Kathleen.

Q: Are there educational, career, political or volunteer experiences you have that you believe will assist you in performing the duties of United States Congressman?

A: I believe that my 12 years of service as an Officer of Marines will greatly add to my value as a member of Congress. The values of integrity, loyalty and honor are firmly ingrained in my character, bearing and carriage. We need, now more than ever, members of Congress who will honor their oath to the constitution over their own self-interest, comfort or re-election. Loyalty to the principles of our nation’s founding, as expressed in our Declaration of Independence, and to the principles enshrined in our constitution is the primary duty of members of Congress.

Q: Why are you running against longtime Congressional representative Virginia Foxx?

A: “I am running against Rep. Foxx because she, as a the Secretary of the Republican Conference and a senior member of Speaker Boehner’s leadership team, has consistently failed to stand up to the tyranny of the Executive and the Judiciary. The House Republican Conference has been in the majority for three and a half years. They have continually surrendered to the Executive or the Senate at every opportunity. They have not held firm to a single firm principle of conservatism.

“In 2010, after the Tea Party rout of the Democrats in the House, the Republicans of the 112th Congress pledged to ‘repeal Obamacare.’ They failed because they didn’t even try with the full force of the constitution given to them. Even after that failure, they were re-elected in 2012 to ‘de-fund Obamacare.’ The 113th Congress surrendered on that as well. Then, they pledged to defend the debt ceiling at all costs. No matter what. In December 2013, under the Ryan-Murray Budget Act of 2013, the debt ceiling was erased. There is no debt ceiling in force by law. The Treasury has unlimited borrowing authority until March of 2015, well after the 2014 elections and well after the 114th Congress is in session.

“There is a long list of executive violations of the constitution, to which the Republicans have not responded. No officers of the United States have been impeached. No funding for executive departments that openly violate the law and the constitution has been reduce. No House select committees have been formed to investigate any of the scandals in the administration. The House of Representatives, as the body closest to the people, was given the most power to constrain the government from abusing the inalienable rights of the governed; 1) the power of the purse, 2) the power of inquiry, and 3) the power of impeachment.

“Rep. Foxx, as a senior member of the leadership team, was an active member in the decisions over the last three and a half years to not use any of the House authorities to restrain the Executive. She is not a bystander or a back bencher. She was in the room. She was part of the key decisions.

“Even now, as Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor are proposing amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, they have Rep. Foxx’s continued and unqualified support. She has voted for them to be in their current roles and would do so again, if re-elected to represent the 5th District.”

Q: What do you think are the top issues affecting the people of the 5th district and what do you plan to do differently than your opponent to address those issues?

A: “The top issues affecting the people of the 5th District, are the same for every district in the country. We are in a constitutional crisis for two significant reasons: One, our liberty, freedom and sovereignty are under attack by a tyranny of the executive. Two, our Representatives in the House and Senate are not defending the individuals and the states as they have been charged with doing under their oaths of office.

“As a Constitutional Conservative member of the 114th House of Representatives, I will be entirely opposite from the current member. I will support and defend the people of the 5th District who have vested the protection of their inalienable rights in the constitution. I will fight and contest the tyranny of the executive branch and the legislation from the bench of an excessive judiciary.

“It is not acceptable to provide ‘not having the Senate’ as an excuse for the House not doing its duty. Surrendering to Senator Reid or President Obama is not acceptable. It is dishonorable. We use the honorific “Honorable” in the address of Members of Congress. It is supposed to mean something. I intend to make it mean something in the 5th District of North Carolina. I will not surrender to tyranny. I will not bring dishonor on myself, my office, the People of the 5th District or the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Q: What ways can you help the constituents in your home district?

A: “The best way I can help the constituents of the 5th District is to help make them active owners of their liberty, freedom and sovereignty. We the people are the sovereign of the United States, to include the citizens of the 5th District. We do not derive our rights from the government. From our rights, we have bestowed limited and enumerated powers to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution and limited powers to the several states in the state constitutions. The rest are reserved to us.

“As citizens of our nation and our states, we need to re-educate ourselves with, re-acquaint ourselves with and re-possess our Constitution. We need to take it back from a government that is not respecting it. I will lead the 5th District in that effort.”

Q: If you could say one thing to the voters in Yadkin County who will be heading to the polls on May 6, what would that be?

A: Our country is in a constitutional crisis. We must fight back against an insidious tyranny that is destroying the very cornerstone of our liberty, the constitution. Three more years of this regime, without a fight from Congress, will result in permanent damage that will not be repairable. It is no longer acceptable to re-elect the same crowd of incumbents that think more of their own comfort, power and re-election than their sacred duty of protecting the constitution. Membership in the U.S. House of Representatives is not a birthright. Incumbency for life is not in the constitution. We hold congressional elections every two years so that the people can makes changes before permanent damages occur. It is time for the 5th District to make that change. Our nation, our constitutional republic and our way of life depend on it.

Democrat Candidates

Will Stinson

Candidate Bio

My family has been in Yadkin County since before it was a county, and in North Carolina since before it was a state. After graduating from Starmount High School, I attended N.C. State, where I met my wife Laurie. We have two children, our daughter is a senior at Wake Forest University and our son is a freshman at N.C. State University. After College I worked for the Yadkin Soil & Water Conservation District. Since 2003, I have worked for Smith Farms in Boonville. We attend Boonville United Methodist Church.

Q: Why are you running for Congress and what do you hope to achieve if elected?

A: “I am running for Congress to give a voice to the people of the 5th district. If elected, I will actively pursue and recruit industry, research and development, transportation, tourism job opportunities for the people of the 5th District.

Q: Are there educational, career, political or volunteer experiences you have that you believe will assist you in performing the duties of United States Congressman?

A: “When I worked for the Yadkin Soil and Water Conservation, we were tasked with implementing the provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act which required farmers to implement conservation plans on highly erodible cropland. Even though Yadkin county is a small county, we had more plans to do than any other county in the state. Most people thought the job could not be done, but by hard work, and finding unique solutions we were able to get the job done.”

Q: What do you think are the top issues affecting the people of the 5th district and what do you plan to do to address those issues?

A: “In the last decade, the 5th district has a taken a big hit with the loss or reduction of core industries of textiles, and furniture manufacturing. We have to work together to replace the economic loss we have incurred. New job opportunities will require more specialized training. We have reorient our education system to meet the needs of our people to successfully compete for jobs of today and the future.”

Q: If elected, what ways can you help the constituents in your home district?

A: “Since I was a small child, I have always looked for ‘a better way’ to do a task. My father would even say, ‘Where there is a ‘will’ there is a way.’ My entire life I have been blessed to be a able to solve problems in unique and creative ways. Our nation has many challenges, and we can meet those challenges by working together to find new and creative solutions.”

Q: If you could say one thing to the voters in Yadkin County who will be heading to the polls on May 6, what would that be?​​

A: “The people of Yadkin county and of the 5th District are my friends, coworkers, and kinfolks. In Washington, I will stand up for the people of the 5th District to bring home jobs and economic opportunities.”

Gardenia Henley

Candidate Bio

“I was born and raised in Forsyth County in North Carolina. My grandfather was a tobacco farmer in the Carolinas, my family lived off of the fruits of this great North Carolinian soil. I have been helping the citizens of North Carolina defend their rights for many years, in fact I am proclaiming this year 2014, as the year of the veteran. I see a very serious and immediate need for the veterans of North Carolina to get the financial help that some of them have been fighting for and struggling to get for more than 20 years. I am a decorated Veteran of the United States Air Force. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Science degree in Taxation. I was an Adjunct Professor of Taxation at Strayer University in Arlington, Va. I am a retired U.S. Diplomat Inspector General Officer, from the Department of State’s, U.S. Agency for International Development, (USAID). I am the only candidate for Congress who is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran, an award winning Inspector General Officer who was confirmed by the U.S. 105th Congress as an officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. I have dealt with and made recommendations to write and revise legislation on a national and international level. I am ready for Congress now!”

Q: Why are you running for Congress and what do you hope to achieve if elected?

A: “I am running for Congress because experience is everything, especially in the 5th congressional race. With my experience I will “hit the ground running.” I have been working and advocating for the 5th district and for all of North Carolina for a long time. As a retired Inspector General Officer, I know first hand the importance of “oversight of our tax dollars.” With out knowledge in vital areas of economic development, financially we will remain stuck in time. There is but so much I can do to help you outside of Washington. However, with my knowledge and “access to what is happening inside of Washington” I can fight for you, “the good ole fashion way” with the power of the pen to write legislation that works for you. I spent many years in Washington as an Inspector General Officer, acting as the watch dog over your tax dollars. I know what to do and how to get the job done. We are just one vote away, ‘your vote for me on May 6’ from making the 5th district the most successful location in the State of North Carolina. My background and reputation speaks for itself and for you.”

Q: Are there educational, career, political or volunteer experiences you have that you believe will assist you in performing the duties of United States Congresswoman?

A: “For over 22 years as an Inspector General Officer, under the authority of the Inspector General’s Act of 1978, I was responsible for Preventing and Detecting, Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Mismanagement in the Executive Branch of Government. I have lived and worked in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and in the Middle East, conducting risk assessments, congressionally mandated audits, including audits of the Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (GMRA) and the Government Performance Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). I implemented, reviewed, and recommended revisions to policies passed by the Legislative Branch of Government. On several occasions, I volunteered my services with the political evacuations of Liberia and Sierra Leone, Africa. I have helped many people, Americans, Foreign Nationals and especially Veterans with Disabilities exercise their rights under the law. I have managed several political campaigns including former President Bill Clinton’s campaign visit to Dakar, Senegal. I have served on the housing board for the U.S. Department of State in Dakar Senegal, West Africa, and served as an Inspector General representative on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Handicap Committee. I worked as a student aid with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Eligibility Clinic and Finance Office in Winston-Salem, N.C. I am a member of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Fund of Winston Salem, N.C. and the Northeast Suburban Area Citizens’ Advisory Committee.”

Q: What do you think are the top issues affecting the people of the 5th district and what do you plan to do to address those issues?

A: “I know first hand what the issues are: Job creation, Administrative and Financial support for Military Veterans, Affordable Education, Health care for the elderly and all others, Controlling unnecessary taxation because of the governments lack of knowledge on how to adequately budget its money. My experience is proven and can be verified by my background. I plan to continue to work hard for the 5th district. These issues that I have addressed are the ones that I have discussed with members of the 5th district face to face. These issues are real ones that need to be addressed and I plan to work hard to make sure that they are dealt with effectively. I will be your congresswoman in Washington and right here at home in the 5th district.”

Q: If elected, what ways can you help the constituents in your home district?

A: “If elected, I can Reform the Economy at Every level in the 5th district. I am an award winning Inspector General Officer, having conducted hundreds of risk assessments, and Congressionally Mandated Audits in the United States and in Numerous Countries throughout the world. I have seen and know the faces of fiscal and social mismanagement all too well.”

Q: If you could say one thing to the voters in Yadkin County who will be heading to the polls on May 6, what would that be?

A: ​​”I was born and raised in the 5th district. For years, I have spent substantial time in all 12 counties of the 5th district, even before I started this run for the congressional office. With your vote, I will be one of the best investments, that you have ever made, because I am experienced and dedicated to helping the people. I retired and never stopped fighting for you and the values and ideas that have helped to make North Carolina and America great. I enjoyed and loved being a ‘watch dog’ - so to speak over your tax dollars for over two decades. Currently it has been almost three decades now and I am still doing the same thing, fighting for you. I will continue to serve you. To read more about me and my experience and background, and The Henley Reports, please visit my Website at: www.thepeoplescandidate.org.”

Michael Holleman

Candidate Bio

“I was born in Yadkinville and raised in the Temple Hill community of southeastern Wilkes County. I was taught the value of hard work and a respect for family and other individuals by my parents, Rev. Clyde and Virginia Holleman. I’ve held several occupations throughout my career however, I am proud to say I am currently a public educator at North Wilkes Middle School. I reside in Wilkesboro, NC with my wife Kim Jenkins Holleman, a teacher at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, and my son Joshua, an employee of Lowes Company and a full-time student. We also have a daughter, Kayla Holleman Garlock, a teacher in Mecklenburg County, and son-in-law, US Army 1st Lt. Jason Garlock, who is a chaplain candidate.”

Q: Why are you running for Congress and what do you hope to achieve if elected?

A: “I, along with many others, believe Congress in broken. Partisan politics have dominated the landscape and problems are being created, not addressed. The conversation needs to be drawn back to the middle where we can find common ground to work for the good of our Nation. I want to take a common sense approach to Washington. As a public educator I am held accountable for the education of each student that enters my classroom. You should expect no less from your representative. As stated by Abraham Lincoln, we should demand a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is the type of representation I will take to Congress.”

Q: Are there educational, career, political or volunteer experiences you have that you believe will assist you in performing the duties of United States Congressman?

A: “I received an Associate’s degree in electronics engineering technology from Wilkes Community College, a BS in education from Appalachian State, and a Masters in executive leadership from Gardner-Webb. I currently hold a North Carolina Principal and Teacher’s License. I hold teaching certifications in elementary education, middle grades science, math, and social studies, secondary Earth and space science, and technology education. I am also a National Board Certified Teacher. Throughout my work history I have spent time working in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and am currently a public school teacher. I believe this diverse background gives me the ability to relate to a broad range of issues which will be beneficial if elected to serve NC’s 5th district.”

Q: What do you think are the top issues affecting the people of the 5th district and what do you plan to do to address those issues?

A: “I believe the top issue affecting the people of the 5th district is the lack of quality jobs that offer good pay. I will work with local and state officials to highlight the advantages offered by NC’s 5th district and its people. Until such time that renewed economic opportunities come to our area, government should work to ensure the citizens struggling in this area receive a helping hand, not a handout.”

Q: If elected, what ways can you help the constituents in your home district?

A: “My main goal will be to work diligently to ensure that legislation that is detrimental to the majority of the residents of NC’s 5th district never become law. Policies that reward the rich while placing heavy burdens on the middle class and lower income individuals have been tried and have had disastrous effects on our economic well-being. I will also work tirelessly to protect the promise to our seniors to ensure that social security and Medicare are protected. Additionally, I will work to protect the interest of our veterans and current servicemen and women. These groups have provided invaluable service to us and we owe nothing less to them.”

Q: If you could say one thing to the voters in Yadkin County who will be heading to the polls on May 6, what would that be?

A: “I firmly believe for someone to properly represent the citizens of North Carolina’s 5th District, one needs to have walked a mile in their shoes. I have lived in northwest North Carolina my whole life. I was educated here, married and raised a family here, and continue to work and live here. Early in my life I witnessed this area prosper as our citizens worked in textile and furniture factories or raised crops such as tobacco. Recently, I’ve seen this area struggle as these opportunities are largely gone and little has come in to take their place. People are being forced to take service or retail positions where they struggle to provide for their families on the low wages that these positions provide. Many feel that the region has been forgotten as word of an economic renewal continues to spread. I want to be your voice as we scream for opportunity and renewal. Congress is supposed to work for the betterment of the people not be a circus of partisan politics. Let’s send a message to the nation that we in North Carolina’s 5th District have had enough and are serious about change.”

Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

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