By Jesse Wood
Deanna Ballard and Ken Boham are vying to represent the GOP in the race for District 45 in the North Carolina Senate, which covers Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties.
In November, the winner of this Republican primary race will face Art Sherwood, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The same morning that N.C. Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger announced that Sen. Dan Soucek was retiring from the senate after the expiration of his term in 2016, Deanna Ballard filed her candidacy.
Like Soucek, Ballard is a Republican residing in Blowing Rock, and like Soucek, Ballard is employed by Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian international relief nonprofit based in Boone.
At Samaritan’s Purse, Ballard serves as the Director of the Office of Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
This race isn’t Ballard’s first foray into politics. She served as the Director of Advance for the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Deputy Director of Advance for Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige. Then, beginning as a volunteer for George W. Bush’s presidential advance team, Ballard “rose through the ranks” to become the Special Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady.
Asked why she’s running for office, Ballard responded, “because service is at the heart of who I am.”
“And I think we can all agree servant-hearted and servant-minded leadership is needed in Raleigh,” Ballard said in an email this week. “With nearly 20 years’ experience of leadership in private sector, government and currently through my work at Samaritan’s Purse with the President/CEO, my background in building and maintaining relationships between individuals contributes valuable know-how and skills in getting something done.”
In announcing her candidacy in December, Ballard pledged to fight for “protection of our 2nd Amendment rights, individual property rights, religious liberties, and core family and community values.”
Asked about anything that the N.C. General Assembly recently did that she agreed with or disagreed with, Ballard praised the “sound, fiscal conservative policies” of the Republican-led N.C. House and Senate, but was critical of the approval of the budget coming after the school year had already begun.
“Our Republican State Senate has continued to reduce spending and deliver a balanced budget over the past five years and I will continue to build on these sound, fiscal conservative policies,” Ballard said. “However, I will work hard to promote more timely balanced budgets – the state legislature expects our counties and schools to submit budgets on schedule and I will work to ensure the state legislature sets a good example.”
In a pitch to readers, Ballard concluded:
“I will work, I will fight, and I will serve YOU. I will be the hardest-working Senator you have ever had. I could not have served at the pleasure of the President of the United States without having demonstrated follow-through and the essentials to excellent and gracious constituent services. I will be present; I will be devoted and responsive to you. Today, I am standing in obedience to the Lord’s calling to run for the NC State Senate and am humbly asking for your vote.”
To see more issues of concern to Ballard and to read more about her candidacy, click to www.ballardfornc.com.
After 40 years in education, including the past 20 years as the president of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, it’s no surprise that the top of Kenneth Boham’s campaign website states in bold: “Education – Education – Education.”
For the record – underneath the education trifecta, Boham also stresses two other platforms: economic development and workforce preparedness, which after several weeks of campaigning rolls of his tongue rather smoothly.
Last August, Boham informed the CCC&TI Board of Trustees that he would be retiring in the summer of 2016. In his filing announcement in December, he noted that he would have the “time, talent and energy to focus upon the needs of the people” of District 45.
“Well, the 30th of June, I’ll be retiring after 21 years as president of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and I want to continue to work for education, economic development and workforce preparedness, and I want to continue that fight for the district in Raleigh,” Boham said this week when asked why he’s running for office.
In announcing that he filed as a Senate candidate for District 45, Boham said that its counties – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga – are “deserving of strong conservative representation in Raleigh.”
“Representation that is constituent focused, responsive, mindful that the needs of the people come first, and understanding that it is not a right, but an honor and privilege to serve the people of the District,” Boham announced in December.
When asked about something that he agreed with or didn’t agree with from the state’s current legislation, he said that he agreed “with what they’ve done to try to help us in the community college system” by supporting vocation and technical education and community college education.
Prior to serving as CCC&TI president for more than two decades, Boham, who has graduate degrees from N.C. State and an undergraduate degree from East Carolina University, served as Vice President for Continuing Education at Wake Technical Community College and as interim president for Mayland Community College.
According to his bio, he is currently involved with the N.C. Commission on Workforce Development, NC Association of Community College Presidents, the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, Caldwell County Smart Start, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Foundation and the Caldwell 20/20 Board.
“My children grew up in this area, and my wife and I very much consider this to be home. It is an area of great people and wonderful beauty that needs to be protected. In an effort to continue to give back to this area, I pledge to represent you in Raleigh,” Boham said.
“Together, we can ensure our future is something we can look forward to and we will be positioned to improve our educational, economic and quality of life opportunities. I ask for your support in moving forward together,” Boham said.
“Your vote for me will ensure responsive representation.”
To see more issues of concern to Boham and to read more about his candidacy, click to https://sites.google.com/site/boham4senate.