By Catharin Shepard
Military veteran Angela Thomas announced that she is running for one of three seats on the Hoke County Board of Commissioners that are up for election this year.
Thomas, a Republican, said she decided to run for the board because she wants to address Hoke County’s needs.
“I felt that I could secure a seat because I have the ability to adapt and learn, and I’m willing to put the people of Hoke County’s needs first,” she said.
Thomas grew up in Florida and bought a home in Raeford while stationed here with the military. She is currently pursuing a master’s of business administration degree and hopes to open her own business after completing the program. Thomas is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Honor Society in social sciences, the National Political Honor Society, the National Associations of Notary and the Order of the Eastern Star Prince Hall affiliation, among other organizations.
If elected, Thomas said her first priority would be to address financial stewardship to make sure that county bids and other funding are ethically distributed. Additionally, local land use controls should be used wisely to make sure that the county maintains advocacy for regional economic development, she said. Seeking to attract new business to the area to provide jobs is another matter Thomas said she would like to address if elected to the board.
“Hoke County is growing and there is a lot of land here to be cultivated. I think that it’s important that we utilize the resources that we have efficiently and effectively so that everyone in the community reaps the benefits of use maintaining their job, maintaining the upkeep of the community,” she said.
There are areas where the county could make its appearance more business-friendly, the candidate added.
Thomas said she is a strong Second Amendment supporter and wants to make sure that the county takes the appropriate stance on local gun ordinances. There have been some complaints in the eastern section of the county about nuisance gunfire, and the county has worked with the Sheriff’s Office to create ordinances about the matter. It’s important to monitor that, Thomas said, and she is concerned that the ordinance is potentially conflicting.
“Once you go get your permit from the city, they pretty much tell you where you can carry it, where the firing range is, you know, how you can basically utilize that weapon. So to use it in a community without it being an urgent emergency, I think is kind of abuse, but then we have to be cautious as to what type of ordinances we do implement so that we don’t impede on the Second Amendment,” Thomas said. “Because I am a Republican, I am a strong advocate of the Second Amendment, and I don’t really want complaints to kind of be misconstrued and taken the wrong way. A resident may mean one thing, and then you act in a manner of which is kind of trampling and starting to impede upon the rights that are already guaranteed to us in our national Constitution.”
Some of the biggest issues facing Hoke County right now are how to support the continued growth in the area and job creation, as well as making sure that the community is presented as a business-friendly environment, Thomas said.
“To stay at one state, I don’t think that’s what the founders had in mind in 1911. I think they wanted the county to continue to grow and become of benefit for everyone in the community,” she said. “That’s my biggest concern, growth.”
Education is also a major part of that, Thomas added.
Although she has never served in a public office, her experiences in the military, work with the many organizations she participates with and her in-depth studies as an MBA student all provide important background and insight into the position of commission, the candidate said.
Getting the community more involved and listening to where the issues and the problems are is another goal, one that will help in future planning and help the county continue to push forward and not be complacent, she said.
“Yes, we’re meeting our day-to-day policies and programs, but how are we actually changing, growing, moving forward? You need someone to come in with a new insight, a new vision, and I can be that for the county if elected,” she said.
Thomas said citizens should vote for her because of her skill set and desire to serve the public.
“I have a desire to serve. I have a multifaceted set of skills to bring to the table for the community. I think that I have a sincere ability to adhere to the will and desires of the people if elected,” she said.
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