The Rev. Wendy Ella May hopes to secure the District 2 seat on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners as the first openly member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Saying the county needs change, May, who filed Wednesday, said she would represent the poor, middle class, minorities and LGBT community while fighting for livable wages. She said she would focus on equality, women’s issues and education.
“I strongly believe that if you are not sitting at the table, you will be on the menu,” May says on her website. “I have a strong progressive record of working and advocating for social justice, civil liberties, universal and affordable health care, equality, immigration reform, workers’ rights, quality affordable education, economic justice and promoting local and global justice and peace.
May and her family recently moved back to North Carolina, settling near Selma after a stint in New Jersey, her home state. May has opened a veterans’ retreat center on her farm, and she runs the Mend I Am Program. A U.S. Army veteran, she is founding director of MEND 4 Male Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma.
A retired priest, May founded Bradley Beach Community Church in New Jersey. She is a member of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina, the Democratic Women of North Carolina and the Democratic Women of Johnston County.
May hopes to unseat incumbent County Commissioner Ted Godwin, a Republican from Selma. While she ran for several local offices during her time in New Jersey, she has yet to win an election. She hopes to change that in 2016.
She has vowed to run a positive campaign.
“In past elections, I have been subjected to negative attacks and false claims about my character, my values and my ability,” May said in a news release. “I personally pledge to you not to subject you to negative campaigning.”
“I believe mudslinging and dirty politics distracts from important discussions about issues and public policy.”
Here are the candidate filings in Johnston as of 5 p.m. Dec. 16:
N.C. Senate District 10, serving Johnston, Duplin and Sampson counties: Brent Jackson of Autryville, incumbent Republican.
N.C. Senate District 11, serving, Johnston, Nash and Sampson counties: Rick R. Horner of Wilson and Benton Sawrey of Clayton. Both are Republicans.
N.C. Senate District 12, serving Johnston, Lee and Harnett counties: Ronald Rabin of Spring Lake, incumbent Republican; and Susan Byerly of Erwin, Democrat.
N.C. House District 22, serving Johnston, Bladen and Sampson counties: William Brisson of Bladenboro, incumbent Republican.
N.C. House District 26, serving Johnston County: Rich Nixon of Clayton, Democrat; Dennis Nielsen of Clayton, Republican; and Donna White of Clayton, Republican.
N.C. House District 28, serving Johnston County: Tony Braswell of Selma, Republican; and Larry Strickland of Pine Level, Republican.
County Commissioner District 1: Jeff Carver of Clayton, incumbent Republican.
County Commissioner District 2: Ted Godwin of Selma, incumbent Republican; and Wendy Ella May of Selma, Democrat.
County Commissioner District 4: DeVan Barbour IV of Benson, Republican; and Larry Wood of Four Oaks, Republican.
County Commissioner District 6: Keith Branch of Smithfield, Republican.
Johnston County Board of Education: Dale Bender of Clayton, Teresa Grant of the Cleveland community, Jeffrey Jennings of Clayton, Summer Hamrick of Smithfield, Crystal Kimpson Roberts of Smithfield, incumbent Peggy Smith of Clayton, Todd Sutton of Kenly, Chip Swartz of Clayton and incumbent Mike Wooten of Princeton.