The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th

Winston Salem State student, wins Democratic primary for city council

A Winston Salem State University student defeated a 16-year incumbent in the Democratic primary for a seat in the city council last week.

Derwin Montgomery, a senior at the university, promoted an agenda that appealed to the student-heavy population in the East Ward district of Winston-Salem.

He defeated incumbent Joycelyn Johnson 530-228, as well as two other candidates, for the Democratic ticket. The district is largely Democratic, so Montgomery is expected to win the council seat.

Montgomery’s win brings to mind Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton’s service on the Chapel Hill Town Council as a student in 1991.

 When asked about his specific motivations for running for the council, Montgomery simply stated, “I believe I had a chance to win.”

Montgomery said he also wanted to take himself to the next level by playing a decisive role in the issues concerning the community.

Montgomery’s campaign focused on one main objective — promoting safety for students living in the area.

He said his efforts would try to eliminate crime rather than just contain crime, which has been the method used by previous administrations.

Although Montgomery’s victory came from his focus on student issues, students holding office should work for the community and not just for the students, Chilton said.

Students holding office is not necessarily good or bad for the town, but it does motivate others to become more involved in the political process, Chilton said.

“That is democracy for you,” he said, adding that participation of students in government affairs, either at a local, state or national level is vital for the democracy in the country.

This concept was reinforced by Montgomery’s campaign and the election results, which were the product of high voter turnout by students, Chilton said.

Montgomery said the increasing involvement of students in political issues is a step in the right direction.

“We need to make some adjustments in a new direction with a new perspective,” he said.

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