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Sunday June 26th

N.C. House Rep. Graig Meyer announces campaign for state senate seat

<p>N.C. House Rep. Graig Meyer meets with community members. Photo courtesy of Graig Meyer.</p>

N.C. House Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Caswell, Orange, announced last week that he will be running for a seat on the state senate in 2022.  

Meyer is vying to win the seat to represent State Senate District 23, which will be made up of Orange, Caswell and Person counties after redistricting. The seat's current occupant, Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham, Orange) announced she would be running to represent the 6th Congressional District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“The community that I serve currently spreads from Orange County, which is highly affluent, all the way through Caswell County to the Virginia line,” Meyer said. “Caswell County is not very affluent, it's very rural. It's very different than Orange County, and I recognize that across North Carolina, there are a lot of different needs.”

He said his time as a social worker and representative inspired him to run for the Senate, mainly in an attempt to improve the state's education system.

“What motivated me to run for General Assembly in the first place was my experience working in North Carolina’s public schools,” Meyer said. “My experience as a social worker is the underlying basis of how I approach my public service role altogether. Before political service, I'm a social worker. We always start with listening.”

He also said serving in the General Assembly caused him to recognize that the state's senate is where the majority of power lies.

“I think North Carolina has some very pressing issues and some very great opportunities,” Meyer said. “And right now in our political climate, the North Carolina Senate is the most important part of making those decisions.”

Henry Gargan, a friend and supporter of Meyer, said that Meyer’s background as a social worker will help him succeed in the role.

“He just strikes me as extremely earnest, curious and thoughtful,” Gargan said. “Not just when talking about politics, but in getting to know people one on one. ​​I was able to connect with him really easily because he's somebody who, before you became a politician, was actually doing work to make the community better.”

Gargan added that he appreciates Meyer's willingness to address transportation issues and energy policies.

“I'm really excited that he is willing to take on climate change at the state and local level,” Gargan said. “That's something that's really encouraging to me.”

Devin Lynch, a UNC senior and staffer for the Carolina Review, says he appreciates Meyer’s support of issues that aren’t often addressed in politics, specifically in healthcare regulation.

“There is medical care that nurses could be providing at a lower cost than requiring a doctor to do it, and as of right now, from a regulatory standpoint, they're not allowed to,” Lynch said. “That’s something he's supporting that I think a lot of people in North Carolina haven't really focused on."

Meyer said he has been listening to the members of his community to inform his positions throughout his career. Recently, that community outreach has included participation in the discussion regarding mental health. 

“I talked to someone who I think had very real and pressing reasons of why he should be thinking about mental health of our children coming out of COVID,” Meyer said. “That will affect what I'm focused on and what we're talking about. We’re worried about our children's mental health. That's something that cuts across race, class, gender and political affiliation.”

Gargan said Meyer's willingness to listen to the concerns of his community is a big reason why he is supporting his campaign for the state senate.

“Something we need a lot more in government is the ability to empathize with people who are struggling, and Graig has that ability," Gargan said.

Primaries for state senate races across the state will be held on March 8, 2022. 

@sarahchxi

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 


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