Letter: A letter to the people of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District

Published 2:34 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

To all those concerned with the hostility, ineffectiveness, division and meanness Washington, D.C. offers us — there is hope. Frank McNeill is a Moore County native running for congress in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district.

He is the owner of the McNeill Oil and Propane company; and he is someone who, after interviewing, I know is only running to represent us for one reason: to fix Washington, and deliver us results. I asked him a simple question: “What motivated you to run for congress?”

Mr. McNeill detailed his experience in getting involved in his community, and his impeccable career as a community leader.

“I’ve been involved in my community all my life, ever since I got back from Appalachian,” McNeill explains. “I ran for town board a year later, served 10 years there, and then was mayor for two terms. A few years later, served on the Moore County School board… I’ve always enjoyed doing things to help my community. And so now I look at Washington, and it’s just the system is completely broken. The civility is gone, the respect for each other is gone, and it just seems like so many of our elected officials now are looking out for themselves … looking for personal gain…. I’m 62 years old, I’m not looking to run for senator or governor after this.”

This statement comes after McNeill has repeatedly called out his opponent for not even living in North Carolina, and for being a D.C. ultra-insider.

Frank McNeill is running as a candidate that wants to clean up the mess that Congressman Hudson is part of. He is in no way, shape or form your typical Democrat; and wants to work with both parties in congress to guarantee a better North Carolina.

When it comes to party politics, McNeill tells me in response to a question about the gerrymandering (the drawing of congressional districts to benefit one party over another) that is taking place by Republicans in North Carolina: “It’s not just Republicans!”

“The purpose of gerrymandering, by either party, is to try to limit the effectiveness of the other party’s voters,” McNeill said. “But I think that one of the worst things that’s happened because of gerrymandering is that in the democratic gerrymandered districts … your nominee tends to be very liberal … same thing in the Republican gerrymandered districts. It’s a very right wing Republican that is nominated because the party activists tend to be very right wing. We no longer have very many, at all, elected officials … from the middle. That is what has led to a lot of the gridlock in congress. You don’t have enough people with like-minded interests that are willing to work together. Both sides just dig in their heels…”

When asked about a hot topic, guns, Mr. McNeill told me that he has no interest, whatsoever, in taking away any law abiding citizens’ guns.

“I’m a gun owner myself. I don’t look to take anybody’s guns, as long as they’re law abiding citizens,” he said. “Congressman Hudson isn’t going to take away your guns, and I’m not going to take away your guns … but he will take away some of your insurance coverage, your pre-existing conditions. I will work towards reducing the cost of prescription drugs. [Hudson] is funded pretty heavily by the drug manufacturers.”

This statement from Frank McNeill comes after Congressman Hudson was given over $90,000 by big pharma, while at the same time voting to end protections for those living with pre-existing conditions.

I ultimately knew McNeill would be my candidate when he expressed to me just how willing and eager he was to break party lines to reach bipartisan deals in congress that would benefit North Carolinians as a whole. I asked him: would you say yes to Republicans on increased police presence in schools if it was their condition for approving background checks? McNeill responded: “Absolutely! Absolutely! Times have changed, we need to make sure we’ve got security on the campuses.”

I moved on to the issue of Social Security and Medicare, where I then understood that McNeill was absolutely and totally for the government becoming fiscally responsible.

“You’ve got to make sure you have the money to fund [Social Security and Medicare],” McNeill told me. “The way to make sure we can fund it, is to make sure we are fiscally responsible with our money. Congress put in huge tax cuts last year, primarily benefiting corporations and the ultra-rich, but it’s increased the deficit by about $500 billion this year, and it looks like we’re gonna have a trillion dollar deficit in the next few years … the interest on the debt is going to be more than we spend on defense. That’s the only way there won’t be money around for [these programs]. Social Security is what keeps so many people warm and with food on the table. So many people depend on it to survive in their elderly years.”

This statement comes at a time when, according to kff.org, over 1.7 million North Carolinians are enrolled in the medicare program; and according to AARP, 92 percent of this state’s senior population is receiving Social Security.

When I asked Mr. McNeill about education, I found he was both down to earth, and a realist.

“The demand for the jobs over the next 10, 20, 30 years is going to require much better educational skills and a higher degree of education to be able to perform and get the jobs.”

He believes that raising our teacher pay would allow us to not only keep our teachers, but to attract highly qualified candidates for those positions.

Frank McNeill is 100 percent an independent maverick, and is exactly what the people of North Carolina need: a no-nonsense, genuine person that will tell you like it is and is ready to stand up to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to get our values as North Carolinians, transformed into public policy.

If you’re tired of voting for candidates and nothing changing, he’s your guy. He wants to stand up for the people of Fayetteville to Concord, and everywhere in between.

He’s not a career politician like Richard Hudson who wants your vote and will forget about you in Washington. He’s your neighbor. He’s a friend. He’s the uncle in the family that barbeques on the grill at a family reunion.

I encourage each and every citizen of North Carolina’s 8th congressional district, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, to vote for Frank McNeill; and I wholeheartedly endorse his campaign for congress.

James Jefferson,
student body president,
Pinecrest High School