An incumbent state senator who represents Surry County — and counts working to stop “Obamacare’s expansion in North Carolina” among her recent accomplishments — has announced a re-election bid.
Shirley Randleman is a Wilkes County resident who has been Surry’s voice in the N.C. Senate for more than a year since shortly after the death of Sen. Don East of Pilot Mountain. East, a longtime Republican senator, died on Oct. 22, 2012, due to complications from routine back and hip surgery.
With his name already on the ballot for re-election later that fall, GOP representatives of District 30 counties covered by East nominated Randleman to replace him on the ticket and she was elected handily.
Previously, the Wilkesboro resident, who was 62 when winning East’s seat, served two terms in the N.C. House of Representatives. She is a retired clerk of Superior Court in Wilkes County who held that position for nearly 11 years and logged more than 34 years in the clerk’s office altogether.
Now Randleman is seeking re-election to her first full two-term as senator for Surry, Wilkes and Stokes counties, and indicates that she wants to maintain a conservative upheaval from the last General Assembly session.
“We have made great progress getting North Carolina back on track,” Randleman said in a statement announcing her re-election campaign for 2014.
“I am committed to finding conservative solutions to our state’s problems and ensuring this remains the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
Legislative accomplishments listed by Randleman for the 2013 legislative session include stopping Obamacare’s expansion in North Carolina.
Part of the Affordable Care Act backed by President Obama called for an expansion of Medicaid, which would have extended health care coverage to anyone at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
But the Supreme Court later ruled that states would be allowed to reject the expansion and in the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature, lawmakers led by Gov. Pat McCrory decided against expanding the program.
Randleman also believes she was instrumental in furthering Second Amendment (gun-ownership rights) in the state, cutting wasteful spending, passing the largest tax cut in North Carolina history and approving the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013.
The latter legislation is viewed by supporters as improvement to the state’s regulatory environment which eliminates red tape that chokes off economic growth and makes it more business-friendly.
As does most every other modern politician, Randleman also pledges to continue efforts to help job creators recover from the economic recession.
The incumbent says she is a supporter of public education and believes in local control of schools with more parental involvement.
Randleman’s re-election announcement is coming less than a month before the candidates’ filing period begins on Feb. 10. It will continue to Feb. 28.
So far, no Democratic or Republican opposition for the 3oth District Senate seat has emerged.
“I’m honored to serve the people of Stokes, Surry and Wilkes counties in the state Senate,” Randleman said.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.