Sampson County political leaders ready for race

By: By Chase Jordan -

With the Republican National Convention wrapping up in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention set for next week, local political organizations are ready to help their hopefuls move into the White House.

During the RNC event at Quicken Loans Arena, Donald Trump was selected as the Republican nominee for election in November. Hillary Clinton is expected to take the lead for the Democrats during the DNC event, scheduled for July 25 through July 28 in Philadelphia.

Daniel Ruggles, chair of the Sampson County Republican Party, believes that Trump is a better option for America.

“I think he’s phenomenal compared to Hillary Clinton and our option with that,” Ruggles said. “If she mishandles classified information and make excuses for it, I don’t think she’s that good of a choice for the U.S.”

Tomeka Blue, chairwoman of the Sampson County Democratic Party, said she looked forward to both conventions.

“I wanted to understand the platforms of both sides,” Blue said. “I’m really excited about the Democratic National Convention because I see that we’re working together more than the other party. The other party still has some disconnect and risk that is overshadowing their convention.”

Blue believes that attacks towards Democrats is not going to gain more votes for Trump.

“It’s also not truly educating the public about where each person truly stands,” she said.

She feels that Clinton has a lot of experience through work with Congress and being a representative of the American government. Blue alluded to her private email controversy, but said she believes decisions were made in the best interest of the country.

“Her experience inside and out, makes her a very good candidate to be President of the United States,” Blue said.

Although Clinton is not the official nominee, she’s looking forward to seeing what the DNC decides.

“If Hillary Clinton receives it, I would wholeheartedly support her because I know that she has the knowledge and experience to carry out the job,” Blue said.

For the upcoming election, both Sampson groups have plans to cover different aspects of the campaign such as voter registration. Blue said the Sampson Democrats will have several events to make sure information is distributed to everyone around the county.

“It’s a group effort, it’s a community effort and I’m looking forward to November with great anticipation,” Blue said.

During the upcoming months, she hopes that candidates on the Democratic ticket would be able to express to voters why they should be in office.

“I believe our platform really speaks to not only our state citizens, but citizens of the United States,” Blue said. “We’re here for the people to help them have a better quality of life.”

Ruggles said the Sampson Republicans are also hosting events for candidates along with utilizing social media to spread awareness about the election, with Clinton and Trump highlighting the ticket. Like Blue, Ruggles believes in the ideology of the party he supports.

“Both parties have issues and I know, by far, that Republicans are not perfect,” Ruggles said.

He praised the work of Gov. Pat McCrory for his work with the North Carolina’s economy and education.

“If you look at the facts, I think he’s done a wonderful job,” Ruggles said.

“We don’t have the leadership that the country needs,” he said, while advocating for Trump. “I don’t think Obama has done a very good job of leadership.

“The gist is that we need somebody that is going to be a leader and try to bring unity back as a nation,” Ruggles continued. “In certain areas it seems like things have gone downhill in the last couple of years. But overall, we think that Donald Trump would do a better job than Hillary.”

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.