Warren Byrd or Ben Winston: Who's the Best Choice?

As we get closer to the November 3rd election, it’s time to get to know the “real” candidates. There’s a lot at stake in this election and voters need to truly know the candidates seeking the position as Lamar County, District 2 Supervisor. The candidates are Incumbent, Warren Byrd and former supervisor and current Mayor of Lumberton, Ben Winston. I received campaign materials from both and will break down the claims made by each candidate. Let’s start with Ben Winston.

On Winston’s flyer, he makes the claim that he is dedicated, responsible, has fiscal responsibility, a unifier and a strong voice for our youth and seniors. Well, let’s see. I’m not sure Winston is able to say he’s dedicated since he actually left his position as a pastor to pursue political interests. Winston claim to be a unifier but he has failed to unify the Lumberton Board and before getting elected he actually went to court to have an elderly member put out of church. I guess that also dispute his claim that he’s a strong voice for the youth and seniors. Also, since getting elected as Mayor of Lumberton, Winston has strategically managed to rid the City of Lumberton of adequate police protection despite pleas from senior citizens to hire more police officers. A year after taking office, Winston went to the Lamar County Board of Supervisors to see if they could patrol the City of Lumberton but it wasn’t in their budget. They advised Winston that he needed to raise the millege rate but for during his two years in office, he refused to do so because of his allegiance to business partners not the City of Lumberton.

In Winston’s campaign flyer, he outlines his experiences as a former alderman, County supervisor, deacon, pastor and current Mayor of Lumberton but for some reason, he failed to include the 12 years he served as the President of the Lamar County Chapter of the NAACP. Winston is relying on the black vote but for some reason he’s ashamed to say he was the president of the NAACP in Lamar County. I suppose that’s in order to appease other voters and to hide his agenda to turn District 2 into a major minority district; something he attempted when he previously served a supervisor. Ben Winston makes the claim that he’s was responsible for getting the South Industrial Park certified but once he became Mayor of Lumberton, he turned control of the property over to Lamar County and relied on Warren Byrd to seek uses for the land. Let’s be clear, Winston knew he was running for District 2 Supervisor when he sought the position of mayor. So why wouldn’t he do a better job, knowing his failure as a Mayor would serve as a reflection of his inability to effectively serve as County Supervisor?

Warren Byrd is currently serving as District 2 Supervisor. Byrd actually defeated Winston four years ago based in part on Winston’s inability to serve the district and his attempt to create a major minority district (which is part of his agenda if he get back in office). Since becoming County Supervisor, District 2, Warren Byrd is a Christian man and has served the entire district. Byrd is a lifelong resident of Lamar County. Byrd is dedicated to Lamar County and has been a successful business that’s been serving Lamar County and surrounding counties for over 17 years. In addition to serving other parts of District 2, Warren Byrd had to step in several times to help the City of Lumberton. Warren Byrd went to the Lamar County Board of Supervisors to adjust their budget to take over the Lumberton Public Library. Byrd also saw the need for improved fire and medical response times for the residents of Lumberton and provided fire protection and first response personnel to the City of Lumberton. Byrd also made adjustments to take over the care and maintenance of Wood-Hinton Park; he even had the sign replaced after the old sign was vandalized. Byrd had Lamar County clean up the South Industrial Park after Winston no longer wanted the City of Lumberton to be responsible for this large tract of land. Just recently, you can see the highway running through Lumberton has been paved thanks to Warren Byrd. When Winston was in office, none of the roads were repaved. For the past four years, Byrd has served ALL the residents of District 2 with integrity and he should be given the opportunity to continue to serve.

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