By Harley Nefe
Located at 744 W. King St, the Watauga County Democratic Party Headquarters is open to the public. It is a place where individuals can pick up campaign signage, get information about voting and discuss politics.
The headquarters is located a block east of the Watauga County Courthouse on the same side of the street. It’s across from the Ransom Pub & Event Venue and above Elevated Piercing. There are Democratic Party candidate signs out front by the walkway along with a sign with arrows that reads “Watauga County Democratic Party” to show the way to the stairs.
The hours of operation are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-6 p.m.
The Watauga County Democratic Party Headquarters wants the public to know that they are welcome to stop by.
“They can find a sample ballot, they can pick up signs, they can get all kinds of literature from all the candidates on the slate, and they can come and volunteer, and we are glad to get volunteers,” said Chris Behrend, who is the operations director of the Watauga County Democratic Party Headquarters.
For individuals interested in volunteering, they can call Emma Strange at 336-553-8370.
At the headquarters, there are yard signs for all the candidates; however, some of the stock may be running low.
When asked if they think that they will deliver Watauga County to Joe Biden, Behrend said, “Oh, I think so; you better believe we do!”
Behrend further continued to talk about some of the 2020 Democratic Candidates.
David Wilson Brown is running for U.S. House of Representatives District 5.
“He is just an excellent candidate and he’s running against Virginia Foxx, and I think he can make a bunch of changes for us at the federal level, specifically in schools; Education is one of his big issues,” Behrend said.
Jeanne Supin is running for North Carolina State Senate District 45.
“She is really a go-getter and somebody that would make a great contribution for the whole state,” Behrend said.
Ray Russell is running for North Carolina House of Representatives District 93.
“We’re all ready to get Ray back in there; he’s been doing a wonderful job,” Behrend said. “Ray is one of the candidates that really keeps the whole county informed, He doesn’t just do Ray’s Weather, he also keeps the county informed on what’s happening with Covid and at the State House.”
There are also three Watauga County Board of Commissioners Democratic candidates running in the election.
John Welch is the Chair of the County Commissioners, and Behrend said she would like to have him in again.
Charlie Wallin is also running for the second time.
“He’s done a lot for the whole county,” Behrend said. “He’s been very involved with the whole county for years, and he is really a good addition to the county commissioners.”
The third Democratic candidate running for the Watauga County Board of Commissioners is Carrington Pertalion.
For the Watauga County Board of Education, there are two Democratic candidates running, Ronny Holste and Marshall Ashcraft.
“(Holste) works at the community college, and he really has been working with youth for a long time and actually is a father with three children, and I think would make a great addition to the Board of Education,” Behrend said.
Ashcraft used to serve on the Boone Town Council, and Behrend said he has a great history of being active in the community.
Behrend also mentioned Cal Cunningham who is running for U.S. Senate and Roy Cooper who is running for North Carolina Governor.
“What would we do without Roy? He’s been a really great governor, and I think he has really handled the Covid stuff well,” Behrend said. “He does things step by step; he just doesn’t throw things out there; he explains what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, and he’s made a lot of positive changes for the state.”
To learn more information about the Watauga County Democratic Party Headquarters, the phone number is 828-266-5011 and the website is https://wataugadems.com/.