Public Funding For Public Schools Essay

Public Funding For Public Schools Essay

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Andrew Barnhill ran for a North Carolina Senate seat in District 9 for the first time in 2016, never having held public office before. Born and raised in Wilmington, Andrew attended Furman and worked for a Congressman who inspired him to switch his focus to public service. A stint in divinity school at Duke and subsequently UNC left Andrew with a law degree and a ministry license. Running on the Democratic ticket against Michael Lee of the Republican Party left Andrew with an uphill battle to unseat the incumbent. The two differ starkly on many issues, the most recognizable being their opposing positions on House Bill 2, Film Incentives, Offshore Drilling, and Education. Andrew opposes HB2, supports bringing back film incentives to North Carolina, opposes offshore drilling, and believes that public funding for schools should remain in the public school system rather than charter schools. Michael Lee supports the opposite of all the things listed above. A moderate Democrat, Andrew has had to overcome the stigma of never holding office and various attacks that will be discussed later in this paper. Overall, Barnhill appealed to the younger voter base of Wilmington, but it did not help him against the well-oiled machine that supported Michael Lee.
Target and Volunteer Base:
When I first came on to the campaign, there were about twenty interns that went canvassing in groups of two to four and then knocked on doors. But by early September, the number of interns for Barnhill increased by about fifty. Instead of twenty people knocking on doors, a lot of college age and some high school students volunteered their time to the campaign for various reasons, whether it was because they agreed with his policies, liked working for a campaign, ...


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...rience than his opponent. He held monthly town halls in downtown Wilmington where voters could come and ask him questions about his policies and plans for the future. He continued this trend by offering to meet with voters at the campaign office and making himself visible at events like the televised ‘debates’ (in which Michael Lee did not attend). Barnhill would mostly utilize issue speeches in order to inform voters of what his plans were, which “are essential during the years of surfacing when candidates can address topically defined audiences…” (Smith, 2015, p. 205).
Andrew’s advertising was mostly commercials and YouTube where he spoke about his policies and personal character, but the attack ads truly tarnished his image. Over the course of the election cycle, thousands of Wilmington residents in different districts were inundated with mail like the one below:

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