Meet Doug Jones, schoolteacher and Democratic nominee for the NC House. He won 52% of the vote in a four-way race for the nomination back in May, and he's a bona fide progressive. The 116th House district encompasses southwest Buncombe County, including part of Asheville.
Doug ran against perennial winner, Republican Wilma Sherrill, back in 2004 and came awfully close. When Sherrill announced her retirement this year, a window opened, and Doug jumped in.
His opponent, career Republican and Navy veteran, Bill Porter, had an easy primary and, judging from the completely blank "Issues" page at his website, he expects to cruise to victory without having a platform.
Jones is running on four issues: Education, Job Growth, Health Care, and "natural heritage". The following excerpts are from his campaign website:
"I will be a strong advocate for our schools and children: I think we owe it to them to challenge unfair, unfunded federal mandates (like “No Child Left Behind”), and to demand a system devoted to their needs instead of standardized test results. I will also work to see that North Carolina Lottery proceeds are distributed fairly and responsibly."
"To address the job-loss crisis, I propose intensive investment in local small business and entrepreneurship development rather than incentives to out-of-state multinational corporations. In Western North Carolina our people are our job creators - so let's invest directly in our people."
"To have a secure future, we must have secure families - and affordable heath care is absolutely essential. I have a plan to cover every child, and to create low-cost coverage solutions for every adult North Carolinian by 2010."
"We are blessed to live in a region of exceptional natural beauty, and I believe that we have a responsibility to protect our land, air and water. But I also think that we can find a balance that preserves our natural heritage and high quality of life with the need for economic development. The best approach is to attract and promote the kinds of development that complement our strong commitment to environmental protection. But where public health is threatened by pollution and other hazards there must be no compromise – clean air and water were our birthrights, and we must ensure the same for future generations."
Doug is running for a seat that's long been held by a Republican, and he needs all the help he can get. Please click over to his campaign site and help out with a donation. Even $10 will help.