A cacophony of honking car horns signaled the support of voters at a drive-in campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in Raleigh on Monday.
This campaign event followed Biden's stop in Durham the day before, about a week after early voting began in the state. Both presidential campaigns have been focusing on North Carolina because of its projected role as a swing state in the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
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Voters came out to hear from North Carolina officials about Biden's policies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, taxes and the economy. Neither Biden nor vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was present.
The event started with N.C. Sen. Sam Searcy, D-Wake, who said the Trump administration has not put the working family first while responding to the many crises affecting the United States today.
“Families are struggling, people are losing their jobs and we’ve been completely left in the dust by this president,” Searcy said. "Joe Biden has put out policies that put middle class families back at the forefront of America.”
Sarah Crawford, a candidate running for N.C. Senate District 18, said this election is more important than ever. She said she believes everyone needs to use their voice at the polls this year.
Crawford said she wants to create real change so that children, like her own daughters, can live in a better North Carolina.
“We’re so close to real change here in North Carolina," Crawford said. "We’re tired of feeling like our voices aren’t being heard. This election is just too important to stand by.”
Durham City Council member Javiera Caballero spoke to the effects of COVID-19 on Durham County, specifically regarding Latinx North Carolinians.
“As the first elected Latinx person in Durham County, to see my community hurting and having little to no help from the federal government, it was heartbreaking and it was absolutely unacceptable," Caballero said.
She said the Latinx community is central to North Carolina, but since his first day in office, President Donald Trump has harmed and insulted these integral members through his labor policies and COVID-19 response.
Ronnie Chatterji, a candidate for North Carolina treasurer, discussed his thoughts about Biden and the importance of this upcoming election.
Chatterji highlighted Medicaid as a central issue in campaigns from his own to the local and national levels.
“Honk if it is time, finally, after 10 years, to expand Medicaid in North Carolina,” Chatterji said. “I hear you now, and we’re gonna hear you on Nov. 3, when we elect a new State Senate, a new State House and re-elect Gov. Roy Cooper and up and down the ballot in North Carolina.”
He criticized the current administration for lack of a plan for the COVID-19 pandemic and cited that as his primary reason to support Biden.
“I support Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris because they have a plan to build back better and get North Carolina and the rest of the country back to an even better place than normal," Chatterji said.
The rally’s final speaker was U.S. Rep. David Price, D-District 4.
After a chorus of car horns to his question of who had already voted, Price criticized the Trump administration and praised the Biden/Harris campaign for standing with and for the American people.
“We’ve had enough of coddling white supremacists and conspiracy theorists and sowing hate and division in this country,” Price said.
He said the U.S. could rebuild its economy by electing Biden and Harris in November.
Price also spoke to the importance of North Carolina as a swing state in the election.
“You know we hear again and again about how North Carolina may tip the national balance. That’s absolutely true in the U.S. Senate and in the presidential race," Price said. “And we also know that Wake County and the Triangle may well tip North Carolina.”
Harris and Trump both have stops planned in North Carolina on Wednesday, with Harris visiting Charlotte and Trump visiting Gastonia.
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