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Former Gov. Hunt Campaigns for Counts, Endorsed by NC Association ofEducators

Former Gov. Jim Hunt endorses Counts.
Former Gov. Jim Hunt endorses Counts. Photo by Ellen Andrews

Editor’s Note: This is from releases sent to High Country Press. If Counts’ opponent, Rep. Jonathan Jordan – and other local candidates – send releases leading up to the general election, High Country Press will publish those, too. 

Jim Hunt, North Carolina’s longest-serving governor, spoke to supporters Tuesday about the importance of electing retired Watauga County Cooperative Extension Director Sue Counts to the NC House.

Speaking to a crowded room at Appalachian Ski Mountain he said, “Sue Counts is the kind of leader that I admire so much, and appreciate so much. She’s spent her life[…] working for all kinds of people. She knows how to organize and partner with people.”

Gov. Hunt cited the need to raise North Carolina’s teacher salaries to the national average and disrupt Raleigh’s right-wing corporate agenda as reasons to elect Sue. Referring to the current partisan lock on NC government Hunt proclaimed, “It’s hurting this state. It’s hurting our children. It’s hurting our grandchildren. And it is wrong.”

Sue responded to Gov. Hunt’s statements saying, “I am honored to have former Gov. Hunt supporting my campaign to fight for schools and an economy that works for all of us, just like he did.”

Added Gov. Hunt, “When Sue Counts gets there, the legislature won’t know what hit ‘em.”

Sue Counts has been endorsed for N.C. House seat 93 by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Retired as the Watauga County extension director for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, Counts decided to run for office because she could no longer sit by and watch her beloved state wander down the path which is destroying the gains that have been made. Since moving to Boone 35 years ago, she has been an active member and leader in the community. Her years of experience span everything from public health to teaching and consulting on the local, state, and national levels. One issue that is very important to Counts is education. She believes that funding for public schools need to be increased in order for North Carolina to once again be a leader in public education.

“Sue Counts stands on a deeply rooted respect for education and educators. She realizes the importance of keeping education a community focus,” said Jennifer Lacy, president of the Watauga County Association of Educators. “Sue Counts will be a strong, vocal advocate for public education, and she will put our students’ needs first with regard to funding, programs, and policies. We are excited to endorse an active candidate who is willing to listen to teachers and use that knowledge to rebuild the respect and value of the education profession in North Carolina.”

NCAE’s focus is to support candidates who can help fully restore education funding to North Carolina’s public schools and move the state forward. The Association’s 2016 Legislative Agenda put priorities on retaining and recruiting quality educators, increasing per-pupil expenditures (43rd in the nation) and funding for textbooks, restoring teacher assistant positions, eliminating additional funds for private school vouchers, and providing professional compensation for all educators (41st in the nation).

NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees and represents active, retired, and student members.