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View from the Hill

Profile: Ernest Reeves wants to affect change from bottom up to top down


This is the eighth in a series of profiles on the 2014 U.S. Senate Candidates on View from the Hill. Links to previous profiles are at the end of this post.

Democrat Ernest Reeves joined the Army after high school. Now, years later, he hopes to serve his country — for North Carolina — in a different capacity as a U.S. Senator.

He acquired extensive experience overseas from South Korea to West Germany to Iraq. After retiring from the Army, he worked in the private sector for several years for United Airlines across the country. Since then, he has come back to Greenville, N.C., to spend more time with his family and to start his own business — Jesusa Coffee and Jesusa Entertainment. It’s not clear the nature of his businesses.

Now, he’s running to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. in the May 6 primary.

“I am running for the U.S. Senate to affect change across every city, every county, and every municipality in North Carolina from the bottom up to the top down because I believe in the words ‘North Carolina strong,’” Reeves said in an email. “Not because of the governor or his party but due to the amazing strength and resolve of the 10 million citizens of North Carolina.”

Reeves is the youngest of 12 kids. He said being from a family with nine women has made him a strong supporter of women’s rights.

Reeves, who received a scholarship from the military to attend college in Greenville, said his experience makes him a strong supporter of active military personnel and veterans.

“My top three priorities will be national security, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and judicial nominations and appointments,” he said.

Reeves’ platform is in line with policies most Democrats support. Other areas Reeves wants to focus on as a senator are job creation, safe schools, civil rights and individual rights.

“I will fight for a minimum wage increase, extended unemployment benefits, equal pay for women and an expansion of Medicaid,” Reeves said, though Medicaid expansion is handled on the state level.

Reeves sees himself as a strong advocate for families, young people and the business community.

But with an obscure candidacy, little support from the state party and small amounts of fundraising, it is difficult to see what influence he could have in the primary.

Read the other Senate profiles by clicking on the buttons below! And be sure to check out the voter's guide for information on Orange County candidates. Early voting ends May 3, and the primary election is May 6.

senate prof clicker

Kay Hagan Mark Harris Heather Grant Greg Brannon Will Stewart Ted Alexander Alex Bradshaw Ernest Reeves Sean Haugh

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at

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