Pitt County Could Be On It’s Way to Elect It’s First African American and It’s First Female Sheriff in the Same Election
But not without racism rearing it’s ugly head, of course.
Major Paula Stokes Dance has announced that she is running for the Pitt County Sheriff’s position, which will be left open, as our current Sheriff, Neil Elks has announced that he will not be seeking re-election. There are other candidates in the race, so this is no shoe in, but, if Paula Dance would be elected, Pitt County would be taking another first step in moving the glass ceiling from minorities in positions of power and authority. Deputy Dance would be the first African American and the first female Sheriff to ever serve in Pitt County.
Although this is not the campaign platform that Deputy Dance is running on, this obviously makes this election a historic one and it goes without saying. Historic elections normally bring out more minority voters and tend to draw a higher voter turnout in general. These cases seem to spark a different appeal to citizens who may have felt disenfranchised, but become excited when they see someone running, with whom they can more easily identify.
This feature sparked anger in a local resident, who took to Facebook this week in a rant that criticized the black community allegedly showing support for Deputy Major Dance on the sole count of her ethnicity. This ranter, who happened to be a white woman called into question Dance’s qualifications. This turned into a very large thread of community residents commenting in response to this woman, who eventually turned to many derogatory racial statements. Unfortunately this woman was employed by our areas largest employer, who became aware of this large community turnout on Facebook. After a quick investigation, the woman was terminated from her job.
So, now, someone has lost their job and a number community residents are reminded that racism is alive and well in our very own community. Interestingly enough, this is just the kind of thing, I’d argue, that gets more people’s attention and would likely drive more people to the polls, as we become aware that we really need to get over more barriers in our communities. This is us! Get out the Vote!