Tuesday, 22 September 2020 22:03

Robinson, Bell speak at Moss campaign event

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Mark Robinson, candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at a fundraising event for Ben Moss on Tuesday. Mark Robinson, candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks at a fundraising event for Ben Moss on Tuesday. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ELLERBE — A couple of heavy hitters came out to Richmond County on Tuesday to encourage voters to choose Republicans in the upcoming election.

House Majority Leader Rep. John Bell, R-Wayne, and Mark Robinson, candidate for lieutenant governor, both spoke at a fundraiser for Ben Moss at DeWitt's Outdoor Sports on Tuesday.

Moss is running for the District 66 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives, currently held by Democrat Scott Brewer, D-Richmond. 

One of the issues mentioned by Bell was the rural-urban divide.

“I live in a rural district,” he said. “I know what it’s like to go without, I know what it’s like not to have broadband internet connection in some of our towns … but we still have the same needs. And those needs don’t change just because we don’t have as many people as a Wake County.”

The larger population centers also mean more seats in the House.

Bell said there were more representatives in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, the two most populous, than in Eastern North Carolina.

After the census, Bell said the urban areas will have more representation in the Capitol than the rural areas for the first time in the state’s history.

Bell said Democrats’ anti-police, anti-gun, anti-development message doesn’t work in North Carolina.

“That is what we’re up against,” he said, encouraging those in attendance — especially churchgoers — to cast their ballots in person.

“There is no separation of church and state,” Bell said. “That’s just a myth, frankly, to keep Christians from getting involved in politics. It’s gotta stop. We’ve got to get our folks out to vote; we’ve got to do it in droves.”

Rep. John Bell, R-Wayne, encourages a crowd to support Ben Moss for N.C. House. Bell is majority leader in the N.C. House of Representatives.

Robinson, who announced his candidacy in July 2019, became a viral sensation when he gave in impassioned pro-gun speech in front of the Greensboro City Council.

“People ask me all the time … ‘Why in the world are you a Republican?’ — you know, me being … black … and I just look at them and I go, ‘It’s simple,’” Robinson said. “When I look back at the history of black people in this country, Republicans fought to give black people freedom from slavery, the right to vote, equal protection under the law, they gave women the right to vote and they fought to end the awful institution of Jim Crow.

“I looked at what Democrats have done,” Robinson continued. “Only thing I can come up with is … slavery first, and then welfare, and Jim Crow and the ghetto. And that’s it. Everything that they’ve done in this country … has been counterintuitive to people like myself. So my question always is, ‘Why should I be a Democrat?’”

But, Robinson went on, politics is no longer about Republicans versus Democrats as in previous elections “when you had two candidates on opposite sides of the aisle who had different, opposing opinions on how things should be done, but had the same opinion about our country.”

“Traditionally, Democrats and Republicans both loved America,” Robinson said. “You cannot say that anymore.”

Both sides had common sense but just had to meet in the middle, Robinson added.

“This about people who love America and people who despise America,” he said. “People who want to see America continue on her successful path and people who want to fundamentally transform America.”

If Democrats win, he continued, “we’re gonna see some bad days.”

“They do not represent the values that made this nation great,” Robinson said. “They represent something that has destroyed nations all over this globe and destroyed lives all over this globe.”

According to Robinson, the time for Republicans being the “silent majority” is over.

“We have got to stand up and start proclaiming things in this nation again,” he continued, including loving and honoring God, being unashamed to be Americans.

Robinson also mentioned his recent debate with Wake County Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley.

“All she talked about was systematic racism,” he said. “I had to gently remind her if systematic racism is the thing, why are we having a debate between two black people in a Southern state that are running for the second-highest seat in North Carolina? Did systematic racism create that? Did systematic racism elect a black president for two terms?”

He also disparaged one of the left’s rallying cries of “Medicaid for all.”

“Medicaid can’t even take care of the people it’s supposed to take care of,” he said. “What are we gonna look like putting 650,000 more people on the rolls? … We see how well the government does with health care just by looking at the sad history of our (Veterans Affairs) in this country.

“Our government struggles to take care of the men and women they sent off to combat — do you really think they’re going to do a good job taking care of all of us?”

Both Bell and Robinson commented on the nationwide movement to defund police.

Bell called the idea “appalling.”

“When you call 911, you expect that phone to be answered, those emergency personnel to respond to you,” Bell said.

Robinson said his advice to the left is “Do not defund the police. You want to keep the police around.”

“If the police are around and you show up to my house acting funny, I can call the police. They’ll show up with a squad car and some handcuffs … drive you downtown, you get a magistrate, then you get a judge, then you get a jury … you get due process,” he continued. “You don’t have the police … you show up to my house, you know what you’re gonna get? You’re gonna get an AR-15 and a shovel. That’s it.”

Campaign finance was another topic broached during the event.

Bell said Democrats were getting a lot of outside funding from other states.

North Carolina, traditionally a battleground state, is the top of the three most-targeted states for this election, according to Bell. The other two are Texas and Pennsylvania.

“We have seen millions and millions of dollars come in from out of state to fund races to defeat people like Ben,” Bell said.

In one race, according to Bell, the Democrat’s campaign has raised $108,000 — with only $80 coming from local contributions.

Moss, who currently serves on the Richmond County Board of Elections, said he’s not a “perfect candidate,” but his allegiance to the district runs deeper than any allegiance to a political party.

“My plan is to be a common-sense-type candidate who listens to the people,” he said. “Everyone knows I’m pro-God, I’m pro-gun, I’m pro-law enforcement, all the things that everybody in this crowd’s for … I’m nothing fancy, I am what I am … just an everyday guy.”

Moss said he hates to leave the county board, but feels he’s needed on the state level.

He also referenced a recent political ad that labeled him “Bad News Ben.”

“I’m ‘bad news’ when it comes to a liberal Democratic opponent that’s pro-abortion, anti-God, anti-law enforcement,” he said. “But I promise you I’m not bad news to anybody that’s got the same values and the same dreams for their children and their grandchildren like I do.”

In attendance at the fundraiser were Toni Maples, Jeff Smart and Andy Grooms, Republican candidates for the Richmond County Board of Commissioners. Maples was appointed by the local party to fill the vacancy left when former Ellerbe mayor and Berry Patch owner Lee Berry withdrew from the race.

Rep. Jamie Boles, R-Moore, was also there, as was Moss’ primary opponent Joey Davis of Montgomery County. Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, and Rep. Wayne Sasser, R-Cabarrus, left the event before the speakers took the mic.

Brewer was appointed to the seat by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2019 when Ken Goodman was appointed to the N.C. Industrial Commission.

That seat has been held by a Democrat for decades, including former state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his wife, the late Melanie Goodwin.

Prior to the speakers, awards were handed out for a shooting event which was won by County Manager Bryan Land and his team that also included Tyler Williams, Graham Moore and Gray Moore. The team from Southern Builders won the flurry competition.