By MICAH HENRY
Bethlehem resident and Republican Congressional (NC-5) primary candidate Ryan Mayberry greeted fellow Republicans and was emcee at a meet-and-greet event held Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Wilkes Agriculture Center in Wilkesboro.
Mayberry stated he is a family man, businessman, and proven leader, having served three terms (2008-2020) on the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. A home builder, Mayberry said he is pro-life, pro-farmer, pro-Second Amendment, and is a conservative voice who seeks to rebuild America’s manufacturing sector.
If elected to Congress, Mayberry said in his first 100 days in office he would file bills to build the wall at the Mexico border, require a balanced budget, enact term limits for Congress, and bring election security measures, such as paper ballots, no mass mailed ballots, and national voter ID.
Event sponsor Kent Herman, dairy farmer, presented a check from the Dairy Farmers of America (the largest dairy co-op in the U.S.) to Mayberry in the amount of $5,000 for his campaign.
Herman said he feels Mayberry will support farmers where the current Congressperson has failed to do so. “When I’m told we have bigger fish to fry than agriculture, I’ve got a problem with you,” Herman said of the incumbent representative.
He also was told that the current representative only wanted five terms, or ten years, when she was first seeking election in 2002. She has been in Congress ten terms now, or 20 years.
Herman, an incumbent Alexander County Commissioner, noted he is running for re-election and that he was the only commissioner who voted against the tax rate in the 2023-24 county budget.
Of the four NC State House of Representative Republican candidates, two were present at the meeting: Stoney Greene and Blair Eddins, both of Wilkes County. Alexander residents Larry Yoder and Dwight Shook did not attend the event (Yoder was recovering from double pneumonia).
While not endorsing a candidate, Mayberry said he had served with Yoder for many years on the county commission and felt he was always prepared and researched the county issues well to make informed decisions as a commissioner.
Eddins has a farming background and currently works for Samaritan’s Purse.
“I do have an agenda. It is to remind the citizens they have a voice in government, especially in Raleigh,” Eddins said. “The elites, the good ol’ boys, should not decide who goes to office. We need to get back to ‘We the People.’ I’m not going to Raleigh to serve myself. I’m going to Raleigh to serve people.” He spoke on three topics he feels are impacting the state: the U.S. border, education, and abortion. “Trump was attacked for spending $11 billion on the border wall. Since then, we’ve spent ten times that defending the borders of Ukraine.”
Estimated costs of caring for illegal immigrants is $451 billion, said Eddins. “No social services for illegal immigrants. Taxpayer funds are for legal citizens only.” He spoke against social indoctrination in schools and stated his pro-life stance.
Stoney Greene, Chair of the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners, farmer, and businessman, noted he is running for State House to support agriculture, which generates $103 billion in this state annually. One-third of that is wood products. Several of his family members operated sawmills or logging operations. He noted that it is estimated North Carolina loses 100 acres of agricultural land per day to development. “There was a time this area thrived off of furniture and textiles. That was fed by the logging business in this area. Sadly, when NAFTA came through, it devastated Wilkes and Alexander counties. A lot of people left; a lot lost their jobs.”
Greene, who serves on the Ag Committee with the NC Association of County Commissioners, aims to enact a Land Protection Act if elected, to prohibit land sales to Chinese interests. Greene was honored to visit the NC House last week to witness the signing of a proclamation asking Governor Cooper to support Governor Abbott of Texas at the border.
Greene expressed his support for the public school system and against sexual indoctrination in schools.
Wilkes County Commission candidates who spoke included Casey Joe Johnson, incumbent, and Ryan Prevette.
Deborah Barlow, challenger to Wilkes Register of Deeds Misty Smithey, also spoke.
Lee Bricker, Assistant District Attorney, noted that he helped prosecute a case in Wilkes that shut down a house of prostitution and a drug house in civil court. He asked for the audience’s vote in his bid for District Court Judge in the 34th Prosecutorial District (Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties).