State House, part two


District 38

Yvonne Lewis Holley, 64, is the incumbent in this east Raleigh district, and the opposition of Libertarian Olen Watson III isn’t going to deny her another term. Holley, a retired state employee, is a member of an old Raleigh family that included, of course, her father, the late J.D. Lewis, for decades a personality for Capitol Broadcasting.

Holley is effective, and she reaches out to her constituents. She recognizes that as a Democrat there’s a limit to what she can accomplish on Jones Street, but that doesn’t keep her from trying and getting things done to help her district. That’s the best she can do, and she’s doing it, and wins our endorsement without hesitation.

District 40

Republican Marilyn Avila, 67, first won election to the House from this Wake County district that includes parts of Morrisville, Raleigh and Cary, in 2006. Her seniority is an advantage for Wake County, and the soft-spoken Avila has risen in the GOP leadership ranks. She is predictably conservative, but has been a positive voice on free speech issues and is chair of the Appropriations subcommittee on Health and Human Services, a valuable place for a representative to be.

We have not often agreed with Avila, but her popularity in her district reflects its strong conservative leanings, and her longevity speaks well of her service for constituents. Her opponent, veteran Judge Joe John, 76, took on some tough duty when called in to straighten out the SBI crime lab, and he did an excellent job. He’s a Democrat, thoughtful and a good listener, and he’d be a good representative and a good ally for his fellow Democrats. But in this case, Avila’s experience is of value for Wake County in a House that’s likely to remain under GOP control, so The N&O editorial board is endorsing her.

District 41

Gale Adcock, 62, is the Democratic incumbent in this Cary/western Wake district, and she is absolutely outstanding in constituent service, energy, thorough preparation on issues, and in somehow managing to work with Republicans in the majority. She has The News & Observer endorsement without hesitation.

It’s uncommon to have someone with Adcock’s qualifications devote such time to service in the General Assembly. She is the chief health officer at SAS in Cary, and previously served seven years on the Cary Town Council. In the House, she’s worked on bills to protect hospital workers’ safety and other public health issues.

Her opponent, Republican Chris Shoffner, has supported investment in public education and supports term limits and Voter ID, but his campaign has been very low-key.

District 49

This Raleigh district is currently represented by a veteran of county politics, financial planner Gary Pendleton. Republican Pendleton is seeking another term, While he’s been loyal to his House caucus — not exactly a deep well of enlightenment — Pendleton has been known to break just a shade to the left of his fellow Republicans from time to time. And to his credit, he’s been a strong advocate for more and better mental health services.

But Democrat Cynthia Ball, 62, a mediator, has also done extensive work in development in higher education. She’s splendidly qualified and is giving the better known Pendleton a run for his money in this race. Ball’s running on investing more in public education, where she believes per pupil funding is too low. Hers is a good, sound, positive platform to advance a positive agenda, not one built on hard-core partisanship driven by ideology. Pendleton we credit with perhaps being a positive influence on some discussions among Republicans on their agenda, but it’s an agenda he’s pretty much supported.

And that is an agenda we believe is wrong for North Carolina. Cynthia Ball would be a force for good on Jones Street, where there is a serious need. We support her candidacy.