Gailliard wins open state House seat

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James Gailliard, right, candidate for state House District 25, receives a hug from his son and campaign manager Matthew Gailliard as they celebrate his win Tuesday at the Country Inn & Suites in Rocky Mount.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A local pastor known for bringing people together said he's going to do the same thing as the new representative for House District 25, which includes most of Nash County including Rocky Mount.

Democrat James Gailliard, pastor of Word Tabernacle Church, said he will go to Raleigh and do what he's done in Rocky Mount, and that's build coalitions.

“I'm going to find like-minded Democrats and like-minded Republicans, build a bipartisan coalition and do what's best for the people of North Carolina,” Gailliard said.

Gailliard defeated Republican John Check in a race to capture the House seat left vacant by a retiring Jeff Collins, who hand-picked Check and his replacement.

Collins defeated Gailliard two years ago, but Gailliard said he learned from the loss and bounced back.

Gailliard garnered 51.4 percent of the vote Tuesday, which is 15,639 votes to Check’s 13,738 votes or 45 percent.

Libertarian Nick Taylor received 1,031 votes or 3.39 percent. All vote tallies provided by the State Board of Elections are unofficial until next week's canvass.

Check told Republicans gathered Tuesday night at the Nash County GOP Headquarters on Sunset Avenue that he doesn't like to lose. He said he would have to figure out how to use the connections he made during the campaign to glorify God.

Education remains an important issue with Gailliard so he said he's going to look at rural education funding formulas and figure out how to change education to benefit everyone in North Carolina.

About crime, one of the major issues in the race, Gailliard told the Telegram that the city can't police it's way out of the situation.

“Crime is largely a result of a poor education, extreme poverty and lack of hope,” Gailliard said. “The best way to address crime is to support law enforcement by reversing the root causes of crime with common-sense legislation that aims to achieve economic security for the residents of Nash County; advocate for public policies to alleviate income inadequacy; advocate for an increase in the statewide minimum wage to reflect the real cost of living in Nash County and North Carolina based on the self-sufficiency standard or a similar measure; and advocate for progressive public policies to use more precise methodologies that reflect true poverty measurements for the state.”

Gailliard, a graduate of Morehouse College, has five children and two granddaughters.