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Candidate election responses

Candidates in key local contested contests in Randolph County's 2023 Municipal Elections were asked a couple of questions that gave them leeway in describing what issues are important to them and why you should trust them with your vote.

This file will be updated as responses come in, so keep checking back. 

Thank you to the candidates who choose to participate and to the voters who give these candidates their time.

Candidates were asked:

1. — If you are an incumbent, explain to voters why they should re-elect you. If you are not an incumbent, explain to voters why you should be the choice to fill an incumbent’s seat.

2. — Point out what you believe are the most important issue(s) in your race, your opinion on that or those issues, and how you intend to address them should you be elected.

Here are their responses the Hub has received. The order they are in each race is simply the order in which responses were received. Photos are used where provided.



Gwendolyn Williams

1. — My name is Gwendolyn S. Williams. I am an incumbent seeking a second term on the Asheboro City School Board. I am excited about the work that is being done post-Covid to improve learning loss while moving forward being innovative to prepare students for a future that many of us can't imagine.

My experiences as a teacher, team leader, administrator, parent outreach specialist and community activist give me unique insight on what and how to have a positive impact on the school board. I am passionate about education and helping young people maximize their potential and become productive citizens in the communities in which they live.

Most of all, I care about this community. I care about jobs, struggling families, marginalized communities and the impact a quality education will have on each one of these entities. Serving on the school board will be a continuation of my life's work, "advocating for all students", irregardless of their Zip Code to become the best versions of themselves and become productive citizens.

2. — Important issues that continue to face the board are:

(1) Retention of a diverse highly certified staf , especially in critical areas such as mathematics, science and exceptional education.

(2) Even though great work is being done with the science of reading, letters and student engagement, there is much work to be done to get students reading on grade level and exhibiting critical thinking skills.

(3) The lack of parent and family engagement for many students continue to be a concern. I will continue to advocate for increased teacher pay, listening and giving credence to all voices, and look for ways to improve parent engagement. We are working on a four-year strategic plan that I hope to see implemented to fidelity.

Your vote for me will be greatly appreciated and my hope to make the Asheboro City School Board one of the best in North Carolina.

Gidget Kidd

1. — I am seeking re-election to the ACS Board of Education because I am passionate about public education.  

During my tenure, I have served on and led various committees and led the board as chair for six years. In addition to my time on this board, I have served simultaneously as a Trustee member and chair on the Board of Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, my Alma Mater. I bring passion, experienced leadership and education knowledge to the board. 

2. — Every child should have the opportunity to become proficient learners in a safe and caring environment. ALL students should have the benefit to become strong mathematicians, writers and critical independent thinkers with a goal to graduate career and/or college ready. This begins with our youngest learners in preschool. As a board member it continues to be my desire to listen to and represent teachers, parents and community members at the local, state and national level: it is paramount to become partners in education so that EVERY student can become tomorrow's successful community members.  

It is imperative that we recruit and retain quality teachers and staff. It is also imperative that we provide the tools that our educators need to teach our students. We as board members must advocate for our educators at the local and state level. I have strong and open relationships with our commissioners and local and state legislators that benefit our purpose. 

As board members we help to create policies and procedures that guide our district in educational methods, safety and daily practices. It has been and will continue to be my practice to be knowledgeable in areas that directly affect ACS: School safety, teacher support and advocacy, high student proficiency and success for ALL, and community support. ACS shines when it comes to supporting our investments: Our students, teachers and staff. 

Ryan Patton

1. — It has been an honor to serve on the Asheboro City Schools Board of Education for the last 4 1/2 years. I am grateful to be able to serve the students, teachers, faculty and families of ACS. 

I am a lifelong resident of Asheboro. I attended Lindley Park Elementary School, South Asheboro Middle School and graduated from Asheboro High School. I also taught at South Asheboro Middle School, and coached at Asheboro High School for 5 years before changing careers. 

I also have a vested interest in the success of Asheboro City Schools as my wife works for the district and my daughter is a student in the district. 

I would be humbled and honored to have your support. Blue Comet Pride! 💫

2. — Asheboro City Schools is a tremendous, innovative school district and an integral part of our community. 

I think the continued growth of our dual language program in our elementary schools, as well as moving it into the middle schools, is very important. ACS made huge strides last year and met or exceeded expected growth in seven out of eight schools in our district. 

The trajectory of ACS  is moving upward and I am excited to see the strides we make this school year.

I also think it is imperative to be a voice for our teachers, administrators and our school community.


Melissa Calloway

1. — As a new board member, I believe that I can bring a new and refreshing energy. I will be focused and eager to learn. I will be dedicated to this commitment and take the assignments put before me very seriously. I will bring a wealth of wisdom and a great work ethic to the board. A strong sense of right and wrong and courage to stand firm. 

Compassionate, gracious, bold and honest are some additional words that describe me. Also, a woman of integrity, a devoted wife, a mom and business owner. I can make hard decisions, will always put children first, and will inspire others to give their absolute best.

2. — After visiting board meetings, observing and listening to administration, staff and parents I have witnessed 3 things that seem to be very important within Asheboro City Schools.

1. Academic Achievement.

2. Safety and Care for Students and Staff.

3. Relationship Building:
• Community.
• Administration to Staff.
• Staff to Students.
• Staff to Parents.

I am excited to expand my calling to serve young people by earning a seat on the Asheboro City School Board. I compare the duty of a school board member to a gatekeeper. One who is reliable, honest and trustworthy. One who is there to guard and guide. One who is entrusted with the treasures that are inside.


Todd Dulaney

1. — I am not an incumbent, but I am a parent of a Lindley Park Leopard who is enrolled in the terrific dual-language program. I believe having a child who currently attends Asheboro City Schools is important since the decisions being made directly affect her future. 
Since in-person meetings resumed several years ago, I’ve attended almost every board meeting. And because the board of education neither streams nor records its meetings, I’ve done my best to report through social media on the board’s decisions and the many successes of students, teachers and schools that it raises up each month as Points of Pride.
I listen, take careful notes and request additional information when necessary. I try to consider issues and changes to policy carefully and get input from other parents and stakeholders before I offer my opinion on policies and plans. And always, I ask myself the question: Will this help our children learn? 
I should be a choice to fill an incumbent’s seat because I understand the role of the board when considering district policies as well as the obligation of board members to pursue equitable policies that are in the educational best interest of all students.   
2. — The most important issues in this race are educating our ACS students and providing our teachers with the tools and support they need to do just that. 
As test scores showed, our students suffered a tremendous loss of learning during COVID. Recent test scores show improvement, but scores are still below pre-COVID levels. And for students who come from underprivileged backgrounds, are Black or Latinx, are LGBTQ+, or face physical, mental health or behavioral challenges, the difficulty in bridging that learning gap can be even greater. 
Earlier this month, each school submitted its Continuous Improvement Plan to the board (copies are posted on the BOE website for public review and input). They are evidence-based plans with ambitious but attainable goals. Teachers and administrators are focused on helping each child in the district succeed, and as a member of the board of education, I would work to ensure our children reached those goals.
To do that, I would encourage the board to collaborate with groups within our community and meet families and parents where they are. Organizations like George Washington Carver Community Enrichment Center, which hosts the Carver Arts Academy after-school program, and Asheboro Latinx Services, which conducts an array of programs for Spanish-speaking families from ESL classes to computer literacy, are making great strides in Asheboro. I would like to see the district work even more closely with those organizations, and similar groups, to help our students and their families navigate the education of their children and overcome barriers — in language, in income and in privilege — to succeed, together.



Harry Okeke

1. — I am not an incumbent but I believe I have what it takes to be the next councilman. 

Asheboro is a city that I love so much and not just a place I call home; it's a place that has shaped me and values I hold dearly.

One of my primary motivations for running is to ensure that every resident of Asheboro has a voice in the decision-making process. I believe in the power of representation and inclusiveness. I want to be a strong advocate for all members of our community, regardless of their background, economic status or social standing. By listening to their concerns, needs and aspirations, I aim to promote policies that will enhance the quality of life for everyone in Asheboro.

Another reason I am running is to foster community development and economic prosperity. I believe that Asheboro has immense untapped potential, and with the right vision and strategic planning, we can create an environment that attracts businesses, creates job opportunities and promotes sustainable growth. By collaborating with local entrepreneurs, community organizations and fellow council members, I hope to implement initiatives that will revitalize our neighborhoods, improve infrastructure and enhance our overall economic landscape.

Furthermore, I am deeply committed to ensuring the well-being of our residents. This includes addressing issues such as affordable housing, healthcare access, education and public safety. I believe that every individual deserves a safe and supportive environment in which they can thrive. By working closely with law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and community service organizations, I aim to promote initiatives that will enhance public safety, provide quality education, and improve the overall health and well-being of our residents.

Lastly, I am motivated by a genuine love for public service and a desire to make a positive impact. I believe that effective leadership requires transparency, integrity and a willingness to listen to diverse perspectives. By fostering open communication, engaging in constructive dialogue and making informed decisions, I hope to build trust and work collaboratively with my fellow council members to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Asheboro.

Running for city council is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am committed to dedicating my time, energy and expertise to serving the people of Asheboro. Together, let us shape a future that we can all be proud of, where every resident has a fair chance to succeed, and our community thrives in unity and progress.

2. — The most important issues in my campaign is to address the issues of housing/taxes, healthcare, mental health, security, creating jobs and empowering small business owners. 

I will achieve these by collaborating with local entrepreneurs, community organizations and fellow council members, I hope to implement initiatives that will revitalize our neighborhoods, improve infrastructure and enhance our overall economic landscape.

I am committed to working and fighting for the people, advocating and listening to their concerns of needs as that's my main priority: “People First.”

Charles Swiers 

1. — As an incumbent, I welcome the opportunity to continue to serve on the Asheboro City Council. After 10+ years on the Asheboro Planning Board and sitting on the Council for 12 years, I still have the passion and desire to serve the citizens and businesses in our community. In these years of service, I have seen Asheboro go from being described as a “dying city” in 2008 to being named an All American City in 2016! Asheboro is on the cusp of seeing significant growth in the coming years thanks to a number of economic initiatives in our county. I look forward to helping manage this growth and keep Asheboro exactly where YOU want to be!

2. — Asheboro has many opportunities and challenges in our future. I will address two.

The most visible challenge is the issue of homeless people in our community. We, like virtually every city in our state, are having to deal with this situation. The city is working with many entities, governmental, private and Faith-based, to find a workable solution to the problem and we are making progress! Thanks to the efforts of Asheboro’s Code Enforcement officer working in conjunction with the Asheboro Police Department, we have seen a reduction in identified “homeless encampments” in the city go from a high of 18 to less than 5!

A second challenge the Council will face in the future is managing the growth of our city. The Toyota project, the industrial complex off Hwy 73 in the Randleman area and even the Wolfspeed project just across the Randolph/Chatham line will bring workers and their families into our area and these people will require housing. The Council has already seen proposed housing developments that request rezoning and annexation into the city. This can cause concern to neighbors in rural areas and adjacent neighborhoods. The Council has to navigate the urban/rural interest in an effort to meet the needs of our growing population.

Asheboro will look different in the future; it is the Council’s responsibility to ensure that the Asheboro of the future is still the city we love and are proud of. I can help my fellow Councilmen assure that will be the case.

Jane Redding

1. — I am running for re-election to the Asheboro City Council, having been first elected in 2015. As a City Council member over the last eight years, I have diligently prepared for each meeting, reviewing the materials, asking questions and doing my research, including physically visiting each property in a zoning question. Each decision I make is after much thought and consideration. I plan my schedule around the regular meetings, and have missed very few of those. Those absences were due to deaths in my family, or unavoidable work commitments.

It’s important to be available to the public when they have questions or complaints. I am out in the community regularly.  I deal fairly with all people; I don’t favor one group over another.  As an attorney, I bring an additional legal prospective to the Council. I am a consensus builder, and try to work together with all parties to reach a resolution. My prior 10 years of service on the Asheboro City Board of Education gives me a unique viewpoint.  

As a life-long resident of Asheboro, I’ve seen the good times and the bad. I know the history and the sense of community of this city. I chose to come back to Asheboro after college and law school because I love this City, and I know it is a wonderful place to work and to raise a family.  Asheboro is a special place. I see the many positives of Asheboro, but am not immune to its problems and challenges.  

2. — Asheboro is not without challenges. As Toyota and Wolfspeed come to the area, the City needs to be able to balance the potential population growth with the maintenance of the small town charm we all love. 

Our infrastructure is aging, and we need to plan for significant needs in the future. 
Our citizens are very concerned about safely issues, as we, like so many other cities in this country, are seeing more issues of homelessness, mental health and substance abuse.
High cost of living affects us all. 

None of these issues can be resolved by one person, or even one group. The City Council must work together with the County Commissioners, local, state and national legislators, and all available resources.  

I will continue to work with all parties to try to make Asheboro “exactly where you want to be.”


Eddie Burks

1. — I love this city! I love that she’s filled with so many good people, who embrace a strong faith, believing that we can do anything with God’s help! I strive to be a good neighbor and citizen helping Asheboro achieve well-planned growth and to prosper as one of the leading cities in North Carolina. 

As a conservative, small business owner, I believe that I bring a unique insight learned from both advising and working with family businesses as well as large corporations. These experiences are necessary for creating the vision that public/private partnerships provide. Asheboro has changed from the industrial economy lamented in that disparaging Forbes article declaring our city as one of the four fastest dying cities in America to an All-America City with an upward moving economy and an attractive destination for tourism and new technological ventures.

As stated when first elected, I believed then that vacant industrial buildings downtown could be revitalized to provide needed housing and retail in the city. Visit downtown to witness how we have made tremendous strides in realizing this goal and our plan continues today. We are, right now, on the verge of an economic revival that will change not only Asheboro, but the entire state.

As with any successful collaboration, communication is the cornerstone of every working relationship, and the relationships that our city has built with the county, state and federal governments play a valuable role in positively setting the direction of our burgeoning progress. Experienced leadership is more important today than ever to properly manage the impending changes in our community.

2. — Nearly a century ago, Calvin Coolidge stated that “the chief business of the American people is business.” That is as on target today as it was in 1925. Much has changed with the types of businesses we have here today, but business still drives the economy. On July 11, 2023, North Carolina was, for the second consecutive year, named as “America’s Top State For Business.”

The Toyota Megasite is just the beginning for changing the employment landscape for Asheboro and Randolph County. The Wolfspeed plant at the Chatham Advanced Manufacturing Site may have just as much impact. I have been tabbed to work with the state, county, other local governments and the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to help provide Asheboro water to the Chatham County line to meet the needs of Wolfspeed and assist the water needs of some of our neighbors in the eastern part of the county. These new industries are providing higher-paying jobs for a workforce that will need housing and all the necessary amenities required for new families moving here. While all this is happening, we must also plan for the changing housing needs of our older population. 

The North Carolina Zoo is going to become a larger tourist attraction. The Zoo City Sportsplex and McCrary Park are going to become larger tourist attractions. The coming Agricultural Center on US 64 is going to become a large tourist attraction. These public investments into our city are going to create private investments of hotels, restaurants and other retail adding to our base. With both a tourist and general population that are assuredly going to grow, our city must be prepared for infrastructure growth. We must also be prepared for growth of our public safety resources. We all want to live, work and play in an environment that is safe for us all. That seems to be more difficult these days, but in this we must continue to be even more vigilant. 

Finally, we cannot afford to be short-sighted in only planning just for the next year. We must continue to make decisions, strategically planning for the next decade or more. It may even be a little painful at times, but hard work always pays off in time. The City of Asheboro is poised for a great future not imagined during the great recession and certainly not quelled by a pandemic. 


Joey Trogdon

1.  — Occupation: President of S. E. Trogdon & Sons, Inc. General Contractors; NC Real Estate Broker
Education: Asheboro High School;  N C State University – BA -Economics, BA Business Management
Community: Asheboro/Randolph Board of Directors – past member; Hospice of Randolph County Board of Directors – past member, past Chairman; Leadership Randolph; First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees - past member, past Chairman; First United Methodist Church Finance Committee – past Chairman; City of Asheboro Land Development Plan Steering Committee.

I was born, raised and have lived in Asheboro my entire life. As a local business owner, I am aware of the many challenges our community faces going forward. I believe in common sense solutions for even the most complex issues. I am dedicated to positive progress and will always side with what is in the best interest of Asheboro.

2. I believe the purpose of the city council is to serve the citizens of Asheboro who are ultimately their customers. It is paramount that decisions made by the city council are always in the best interest of the citizens. As a councilman, I will practice financial discipline and promote transparency of expenditures. With the projected growth over the next decade, we face deficits with our outdated infrastructure that must be addressed. The growing homeless situation is creating issues that must be dealt with and resolved. Going forward we must be financially responsible and maximize the return on our investments. In order to maintain financial stability, we must be judicious and have the foresight to distinguish between our “wants” and our “needs.”



Stephen Grooms

1. — My name is Stephen Grooms (Steve) and I am running for the Randleman Board of Alderman, Ward 1 seat. I am a 1984 graduate of Randleman High School, a 2015 graduate of Guilford College and I should graduate from UNCG in May with my MBA. 
I, and others, feel that I would bring skills to the board that are needed. Skills centered around active listening, professional communication and innovative ideas to help lead the city into a new era while keeping and maintaining its small-town feel.  
2. — The most important issue facing our town is the growth that is happening around us. We have Toyota spending billions of dollars to our east. We also have Wolfspeed Inc. doing the same. While these large companies are investing billions around us, there will also be an influx of support industries that come with them. If we are to maintain our small town feel while dealing with the growth around us, we need to start crafting a vision of what the town is to be.

We need to focus on creating an identity that will be inviting for others to live and shop here. We need to take steps to improve our infrastructure and enhance the quality of the services offered by the city. We need a board that is transparent, approachable and listens to the people it represents. 

It is my plan to help guide the city through the changes going on around us, listen to the citizens of the city and either take action or give a thoughtful answer to why action cannot be taken at this time. It is also my intention to find, hire and keep city management that will keep the city running smoothly.

Renee Bryant

1. — I am grateful to be in a position to listen to citizens and community leaders and learn from those with far more experience and wisdom how to best advocate for constructive outcomes for the City of Randleman. I have been blessed to make Randleman my home for nearly 13 years. For 8 of those as an alderman, I have not wavered when there was a question of legality and have held firm to my convictions when the situation proved to be a sticky wicket.

I have learned valuable lessons that steered me to help create a better community and I have been shown mercy and grace when I failed my own expectations. I will continue to act on what best benefits the whole of Randleman as we experience life together. With my fellow board members and administrative staff, we have helped keep Randleman financially stable with smart decisions that represented the ideals of our community and avoided the options that were too great a risk. I have not only been present for meetings but also diligently researched the opportunities that support the goals of our citizenry. I am available to citizens who ask for my time or effort and know that I have made a difference by being of service to all, but am especially grateful to those who found me worthy of their vote. 

2. — Paramount in our agenda for the City of Randleman is to continue the process that has already begun with the Council of Government, to complete the management heirarchy in our administration. Years ago, knowing that we were approaching a time when the BOA would be filling the position of Manager, and he or she would then need to fill 5 Department Head positions within an approximate 3-year period, we knew our role would be to transition our city methodically and hopefully smoothly through this. We have some very loyal, dedicated, trustworthy employees that truly care for our citizens. We are still experiencing those transitions and have the support of our team to always seek a way to do better and be better than we were yesterday. I, with our BOA,  will continue to seek a manager with municipal experience and a firm grasp of NC general statutes who is seeking more than the minimal ICLM requirement of a 2 year stay. A gentleman or lady wishing to commit to Randleman for an extended period would be ideal. As of our last meeting, the NCLM confirmed 63 NC municipalities are using an interim or similar as good folks are hard to find!

A second priority would be continuing to work with the EDC and Randolph County, as we have been recently, to prepare the I-74 Industrial park for corporations/businesses that will join with our city to provide jobs, contribute to the tax base, offset infrastructure expenses and partner with our community. 

I will continue to help mold and develop the future of Randleman as a quaint, family-friendly city, welcoming to visitors, where life is peaceful and prosperous.



Karen Scotton

1. — My name is Karen Scotton and I am seeking re-election for the position of Mayor for the Town of Staley. I am proud of our town and our accomplishments during my time in this capacity. A few examples of our endeavors are that we have implemented extensive planning and zoning ordinances, continued to contract with the Randolph County Sheriff's Office in order to have a police presence, kept our town streets repaired and partnered with a local group to erect a beautiful cemetery arch. I have lived in town all my life and take this responsibility very seriously. A lot of people tend to overlook us because we are such a small municipality. I have never diminished the quality of our work because of our numbers. Each citizen is worthy of representation no matter how few. I am a strong advocate for every voice being heard. I believe in tenacity until a job is completed. I understand that I may not know all the answers but I am proud to surround myself with people that are knowledgeable and am willing to learn and grow with our town as we work for the betterment of our surroundings.  

2. — The most important issue facing the Town of Staley right now is the fact that we are sandwiched between two megasites. One, the Greensboro Randolph Megasite that Toyota has occupied, and the second being the Chatham Area Manufacturijng Megasite that Wolfspeed is occupying a portion of. This poses a great threat for the Town of Staley to be swallowed up in between. It is my vow to the citizens of Staley, NC, that I will do everything in my power not to let this happen. It is my goal to keep the Town of Staley on a controlled growth path that we can all live with comfortably. We live here because we like the rural nature of our town and it is my pledge to keep that for us all.