Under the Dome

Wake County high school teacher to run for NC House seat

Fuquay-Varina High School social studies teacher Randy Barrow has been picked to run for the state House District 37 seat by the Wake County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee.

Barrow was chosen Tuesday to be the Democratic nominee after Jonathan Graham of Garner withdrew from the race. Barrow, a Fuquay-Varina resident, has been a public-school teacher for 16 years in Pitt, Guilford and Wake counties.

“Time and again North Carolina Republicans have prioritized millionaires and special interests over our schools and middle class families,” Barrow said in a written statement. “North Carolina’s schools simply aren’t getting the resources needed to provide students with the tools they need to compete in the 21st century economy. I see the real life impact every day.

“My own classroom has only one set of textbooks from the early 2000’s that students are expected to share. I have taught long enough to know we have done better for our kids in the past. I’m running to ensure that we return North Carolina to the national model we once were.”

Barrow will run in November against Linda Hunt Williams, a Republican member of the Holly Springs Town Council. Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, is not running for re-election in District 37, which includes parts of Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina and Apex.

Former Wake County Commissioner Lindy Brown had been expected to run for the Democratic nomination in District 37. But Brown opted to file instead for a seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Wake County Democratic Party Chairman Brian Fitzsimmons said in an interview Wednesday that Graham had stepped in to run for the District 37 seat because no other Democrat had filed.

Fitzsimmons said Graham told party officials he wasn’t prepared to mount a full campaign so he withdrew so that a replacement could be found.

Under state law, political parties can replace the nominee if the candidate withdraws after the primary. Since District 37 only covers Wake County, Fitzsimmons said the decision to pick Barrow rested with the 24 members of the party’s Executive Committee who live in the district.

Barrow’s name will now be forwarded to the State Board of Elections but the name has to be accepted. Fitzismmons said that Barrow cleared his decision to run for office with his principal.

Barrow has taught at Fuquay-Varina High since 2006 and used to be the school’s men’s basketball coach.

“We are so grateful for Randy and his long-standing commitment to NC Public Schools,” Fitzsimmons said in a written statement. “He is going to bring that history of dedication with him to Jones Street, and help bring North Carolina back to being an example the world over of a strong commitment to public education.

“We need people like Randy fighting for us, and so will Governor Cooper.”