Monday, September 28, 2020




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

For the second time in his presidency, Donald Trump, when offered the opportunity, declined to denounce white supremacists.

Instead, during Tuesday night’s fiery and stunning presidential debate with Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump, when asked by beleaguered moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, to condemn “white supremacists and militia groups” and tell them to “stand down,” replied, “Sure, I’m willing to do that, but I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.”

When Wallace asked for clarification, giving the example of the right wing violent neo-racist, Trump replied, “Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by.”

Even the FBI has declared that America’s most dangerous terrorist threats come from white supremacist groups, not Black Lives Matter, which Trump and leaders in the Republican Party routinely and falsely accuse of starting violent demonstrations, burning and looting.

Doing the Tuesday night debate from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio under COVID-19 restrictions , the first of a scheduled three ninety-minute presidential debates went off track quickly when the Republican president refused to honor the debate rules that both campaigns had previously agreed to, personally attacking Democrat Biden and his family relentlessly, and deliberately mischaracterizing Biden’s political record, swing at one point that Biden hadn’t done anything in public office for 47 years.

A frustrated Biden, in turn, told Trump at one point to “shut up,” referred to the president as a “clown” and a “racist,” and finally called him to his face “the worst president America has ever had.”

On the COVID-19  pandemic, not only did Biden boldly accuse Trump of lying and mishandling the crisis, resulting currently in over 200,000 deaths and 7 million infected across the nation, but even warned that African-Americans would increasing die of it because of Trump.




Every two years (general election and midterms) The Wilmington Journal has proudly shared with you, our readers and community, our opinions of, and endorsements for some of those who wish to serve us in public office. This crucial election year is no different, except that we’re doing it a little earlier this year because voting for the Nov. 3rd general election has actually already started, thanks to mail-in absentee ballots.

It is because of the COVID-19 pandemic that mail-in ballots are so prominent now, and at last check, over 1 million have been requested statewide.

Remember, if you want a mail-in absentee ballot to vote by, you must be a registered NC voter,  and go online to to request a ballot be sent to you. When you receive it, make your candidate choices, sign it, and have a witness to your signature sign it too.

Then either send it back, or drop it off at your New Hanover County Board of Elections office (230 Government Center Drive, Suite 38, Wilmington - 910-798-7300) by 5 p.m on Nov. 3rd, Election Day. By mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3rd, and arrive by Nov. 4th before 5 p.m..

After you’ve returned your ballot, you can track it online via Ballottrax at
For those who don’t mail-in vote, One Stop Early in-person voting begins Oct. 15 through Oct. 31st.

Remember, whether you choose to vote by mail, by early vote, or on Election Day, you can only vote ONCE! Go to to track your ballot once you send it back. It is against the law to vote twice in the same election in North Carolina.

Last week, we gave you our endorsements for president of the United States, governor, lt. governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and NC Council of State officials. 

This week, we continue with part two of our endorsements.

All of them are Democrats, and are listed as they appear on the ballot.

                      Cheri Beasley

                           NC Supreme Court Chief Justice (Seat 1)

                                               Lucy Inman

                           NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 2)

                                                Mark Davis

  NC Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 4)

                                                 Tricia Shields

                                NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 4)

                                          Lora Christine Cubbage

                                NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 5)

                                                  Gray Styers

                                 NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 6)

                                                Reuben F. Young

                                  NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 7)

                                                   Chris Brooks

                                   NC Court of Appeals Judge (Seat 13)

                                               Harper Peterson

                                    NC State Senate (District 9)

                                                         Deb Butler

                                    NC House of Representatives (District 18)


                                                          J.H. Corpening II

                                    NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 5)

                                                        Richard Russell Davis

                                      NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 6)

                                                      Jeffrey Evan Noecker

                                       NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 7)

                                                     Robin Wicks Robinson

                                       NC District Court Judge (District 5, Seat 9)

                                                    Jonathan Barfield, Jr.

                                                    Leslie Cohen

                                                    Kyle Horton

                             Board of Commissioners (vote for all three Democrats)

                                                      Stephanie Walker

                                                      Hugh McManus

                                                      Chris Meek

                              Board of Education (vote for all three Democrats)

                                                      Clayton Hamerski

                                                        Register of Deeds





[RALEIGH] With bipartisan support from state legislators, North Carolina Freedom Park, the first park honoring the African American experience in the state, will represent universal themes of freedom, perseverance and equality. The public is invited to view the event virtually at 12 noon, while project organizers lift symbolic shovels in downtown Raleigh, marking a proud milestone for the state. Projected to be completed by 2022, North Carolina Freedom Park will be prominently located between the State Legislative Building and the Governor’s Mansion.


[RALEIGH] The two Republican members of the five-member State Board of Elections resigns last week after they voted unanimously with the three Democrats on the board to approve a court settlement extending t election deadline for Nov. 3rd, and improving the cure  procedure for spoiled absentee mail-in ballots. What’s worse, there is evidence that the two Republican members - Ken Raymond and David Black - were pushed to resign in protest by a NCGOP attorney because the party was “unhappy” with they original vote. At press time, the settlement still had to be approved by a judge.


[WINSTON-SALEM] Chris Paul, NBA superstar with the Oklahoma City Thunder, has enrolled to take a class at Winston-Salem State University in order to encourage student to participate in voting. Ironically, Paul used to play ball for Wake Forest University before he turned pro. “We are providing transportation to HBCU students to get the polls so we are working on that now,” Paul told ESPN recently. Paul’s parents also attended WSSU.



                                                MARK ROBINSON AN DONALD TRUMP

                                                         REP. YVONNE LEWIS-HOLLEY



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

On Nov. 3rd, North Carolinians will make history by electing their first African-American lieutenant governor ever, the second highest state official designated to step in for the governor when needed. It will either be Democrat Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley of Raleigh, or Republican Mark Robinson of Greensboro.

And while, by most accounts, Rep. Lewis-Holley is expected to win, it is Robinson who is making the race most notable with his usually outspoken conservative frankness that arguably runs counter to most of North Carolina’s Democratic-leaning African-American voters.

Rep. Lewis-Holley has serve four terms in the N.C. General Assembly over the past eight years. She proudly considers herself progressive politically, and a staunch advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, criminal justice reform, gun reform and preserving the environment. The daughter of legendary WRAL-TV Black broadcasting pioneer J.D. Lewis, Rep. Lewis Holley also believes strongly in fighting systemic racism, helping the poor, and creating job and small business opportunities for those who want to improve their lot in life.

She is also a strong supporter of Gov. Roy Cooper, and gives him high marks for managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Republican Mark Robinson, who criticizes Cooper’s handling of the pandemic, is literally the polar opposite, and his supporters like him that way.

The ninth of ten children, Robinson was born and raised in Greensboro. He has served in the Army Reserves as a medical specialist, has been a small business owner, and a factory worker. He and his wife are the parents of two children.

So how did Robinson end up running for the state’s second highest office?

It was April of 2018, when citizen Mark Robinson appeared before the Greensboro City Council, and delivered a fiery and much lauded pro-gun rights speech that captured the hearts and minds of Republicans statewide. Indeed, when Robinson ran in the March GOP primary, he finished first out of a large file of professional Republican politicians, shocking the political establishment.

The rest is history. Taking a page from his party’s leader, Pres. Donald Trump, the religious and political conservative has been spectacularly outspoken on everything from how “satanic or Jewish movie producers” run Hollywood, to former First Lady Michelle Obama actually being a man.

Indeed, when Robinson isn’t sharing his explosive personal insights in numerous speeches across the state, he pines prolifically on his Facebook page, so much so that North Carolina’s news media has picked up on it, and have portrayed Robinson as a Black conservative gun-loving right-winger who is in lockstep with Pres. Trump and his party’s most outlandish extremists.

Could Robinson get some of the state’s loyal Black Democrat vote? It’s possible…just as long as not too many read his facebook post from 2018, “…half of black Democrats don't realize they are slaves and don't know who their masters are. The other half don't care."

And many of them, who rail against police brutality and social injustice, would also be less than charmed with Robinson’s view that there is no such thing as systemic racism. Or that he feels that beloved former Pres. Barack Obama “is a worthless, anti-American atheist who wanted to bring this nation to its knees, then raise it back to its feet as a European style socialist hell hole.”

Robinson even took time to criticize the highly popular 2018 superhero movie “Black Panther,” all because it gave Black audiences a fantasy.

With Robinson bashing everyone from socialists to homosexuals, the question isn’t how much Black vote will he get compared to Democrat Lewis-Holley, because the answer to that is almost academic.

The question is how much of the Trump-Republican base across the state will he get, given that the president is currently neck-and-neck with Democrat Joe Biden in the top-of-the-ballot contest.

As unsavory as Mark Robinson’s views are, observes warn that in this current political atmosphere, he is just as likely to win as his Democrat opponent.

The answer may come on Nov. 3rd.


                                         As Pastor Jonathan Augustine raises his hands in praise
                                         Sunday, Rev. William Barber preaches about the importance
                                         of voting at St.Joseph's A.M.E. Church in Durham.



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

The extraordinary power of the vote, and why poor people - especially black men - should use it in the upcoming Nov. 3rd election, was Rev. William Barber’s special guest sermon last Sunday at St. Joseph’s A.M.E. Church in Durham, where Rev. Jonathan C. Augustine is the pastor.

The event was co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, inc and it’s Andrew Young Social Justice Institute.

In a biblically-inspired address titled “Why We Can’t Stay Here” for the church’s “Social Justice Sunday,” Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, powerfully enumerated how previously in U.S. history, poor people have survived “evil” leadership from like presidents Andrew Jackson, Franklin Pierce and Woodrow Wilson who presided over corruption, violent oppression, suppression of the press, lying about a pandemic and even race riots and even the lynching of black men, by realizing it for what it was, and coming together for their very survival.

“My brothers and sisters, what we see today, is America,” Barber preached. “It’s not all of America, but you can’t say it isn’t America, because we’ve seen it before, and we’ve seen how bad it can get if it’s not stopped.”

In spite of the repressive policies of President Donald Trump, Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell,” all and the Republican Party, if poor people, especially in the South, were to come together again, and vote as a bloc, they could change the course of political history, Rev. Barber vowed.

“This nation must understand that the current president is holding on to much of the evil that has come before him, and you make a critical mistake, America, if you say this is the worst that we’ve ever seen,’ Rev. Barber admonished. “That is revisionist history, and it is not true.”

“America is under siege…yes from a pandemic, a viral pandemic, but also from politicians, also from the pandemic of racism and greed,” along with health care, education and other issues.

“And they’re using power to hurt the nation!”

But Rev. Barber made clear that just when things look bad and hopeless, GOD steps in, and sends someone to challenge the evil of leadership.

“Oppression as ours will always appear invincible until the very hour of its fall.” 

“[Black men are] being called now to stand for truth, to vote for truth…,” Rev. Barber continued. “We can’t stay here,” meaning that African-Americans and other communities of color cannot stand still watch themselves die, watch themselves be victimized by the evil of corrupt leadership.

“We can’t stay …here. All this lyin’, all this racism, all this failure, all this hatred, all this injustice, all this dyin’!”d

“America, we can’t stay here!” Rev. Barber bellowed.

“Black men…we can’t stay here ,” Rev. Barber preached to the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. present. “We need to vote with our ballots. We must galvanize poor and low-income voters. The power to change things is in our hands.”

Rev. Barber noted that in 2016, there were 63 million poor and low-income voters - 30 percent of the total American electorate. 29 millions voted and 34 million didn’t.

Barber maintains that 61 percent of African-Americans are poor and low-wealth.

A recent study commissioned by the Poor People’s Campaign showed that in fifteen states, including North Carolina, is poor voters voted between 1 - 19 percent higher, they could change every election, including the presidency.  

It’s well-known that Republicans cater to the interests of the wealthy, but Rev. Barber chided Democrats for not even reaching to the poor. Indeed, he said, one of the reasons why many poor voters don’t participate in elections is because no one speaks to them or addresses their issues.

Rev. Barber made clear that the power to change elections is in the hands of poor and low-income voters, if only they can be inspired to use it.

“The people on the margins can set us free,” he said.

Apparently both the Biden and Trump presidential campaigns are recognizing the power of the Black vote.

Though he’s now been to North Carolina to campaign five times in the past month, Pres. Trump waited until he visited Atlanta, Ga. last week to rollout his so-called “Platinum Plan” for Blacks, offering to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, officially designate the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization, and and pushing for Black economy development.

Trump’s pandering for Black votes just two months before the Nov. 3rd election came two days after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden traveled to Charlotte last week to speak at the Black Economic Summit., where he discussed investing billions into HBCUs and helping Black small businesses if elected.

It was the former vice president’s first trip to North Carolina since the  March 3rd primaries.

His running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential hopeful, made her first visit back to North Carolina since last August, on Monday, visiting Shaw University and a Black barbershop in Raleigh.

When asked by an audience member in the barbershop’s parking lot how, if elected, she and Joe Biden would work for Black voters, Harris, an alumna of Howard University in Washington, D.C., said, “You have to earn the vote. If you define the win of simply beating Donald Trump, then the job is over the day we get sworn in.”

It is when they’re both sworn-in that the work towards helping the Black community begins.



Tuesday, September 22, 2020




[GREENSBORO] Reportedly in a effort control the further outbreak of the coronavirus in the black community, the White House is sending hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 test to HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) across the nation, starting with 41 public universities. According to published reports, 250,000 tests have already been sent, an next week, an estimated 300,000 more are scheduled to be shipped to 65 more. Several North Carolina schools, including Winston-Salem State University and N.C. A&T University are on the list to receive.


[RALEIGH] Thanks to a recent lawsuit settlement that at presstime Tuesday still has to be approved by a judge, the State Board of Elections is reportedly considering extending the deadline that absentee mail-in ballots are required to be returned for the upcoming Nov. 3rd general election. The new cutoff date would be Nov. 12th if a judge approves, because of expected postal delays. Republican legislative leaders have blasted the legal settlement.


[CHAPEL HILL] The UNC System Board of Governors is scheduled today to vote on a policy change that would allow the system president further influence how UNC chancellors are chosen by adding two candidates to the selection process. Those candidates would automatically move forward in the selection process. Currently, after a search, the trustee boards at individual UNC schools forward two candidates to the system president, who then selects the finalist. Trustees at HBCUs say they can’t trust “white conservative men” to choose chancellors for their Black schools because they don’t know the culture nor the history.


                            OUR ENDORSEMENTS 2020 (PART 1)

Every two years (general election and midterms0 The Wilmington Journal has proudly shred with you, our readers and community, our opinions of, and endorsements for  some of those who wish to serve us in public office. This crucial election year is no different, except that we’re doing it a little earlier this year because voting for the Nov. 3rd general election has actually started now, thanks to mail-in absentee ballots.

It is because of the COVID-19 pandemic that mail-in ballots are so prominent now, and at last check, over 930,000 have been sent out statewide, and have already begun coming back in.

Remember, if you want a mail-in absentee ballot to vote by, you must be a registered NC voter,  and go online to to request a ballot be sent to you. When you receive it, make your candidate choices, sign it, and a witness to your signature sign it too.

Then either send it back, or drop it off at your New Hanover County Board of Elections office (230 Government Center Drive, Suite 38, Wilmington - 910-798-7300) by 5 p.m on Nov. 3rd, Election Day. By mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3rd, and arrive by Nov. 4th before 5 p.m..

For those who don’t mail-in vote, One Stop Early in-person voting begins Oct. 15 through Oct. 31st.

Remember, whether you choose to vote by mail, by early vote, or on Election Day, you can only vote ONCE! Go to to track your ballot once you send it back. It is against the law to vote twice in the same election in North Carolina.

These are our endorsements for president, Congress, governor, lt. governor and the NC Council of State.

By law, North Carolinians have to vote for each candidate choice individually on the ballot. The names offices here are exactly as printed on your ballot. When you vote, vote BOTH sides of your ballot. All are Democrats.

Indeed, we’re not always happy with the Democratic Party, and the way it sometimes treats the African-American community.

But compared to the Republican Party - both here in North Carolina and in Washington, D.C. - which was, at best, racist, scheming, and deceitful BEFORE Donald Trump was dubiously elected, we cannot, in good conscience, recommend ANY Republican we know of today to serve in public office.

The Grand Old Party has, quite simply, allowed itself to be co-opted by one of the most racist, criminal and incompetent leaders of the 20th century serving as president of the United States we’ve ever seen.

It is because of Donald Trump that over 200,000 Americans - a third of them Black and Brown - are dead because of the coronavirus. It is because of him that racist police officers now feel free to kill any person of color they want. 

And it is because of Trump that this nation is more divided, more hateful, than it’s ever been in it’s history.

No Republican who supports Donald Trump can escape those realities. In fact, they all share the blame that is royally his.

So no, we’re not totally pleased with the Democratic Party on a number of issues, but Lord knows, at least it’s slate of candidates possess a minimum degree of decency and competency.

The highest priority of this election is to remove Donald Trump as president, and return the United States Congress to the Democrats.



                                 for President and Vice President of the United States


for U.S. Senate

                                                      CHRISTOPHER M. WARD

                                                        for U.S. House…District 7

                                                               ROY COOPER

                                                            for N.C. Governor

                                                      YVONNE LEWIS HOLLEY

                                                     for N.C. Lieutenant Governor

                                                                JOSH STEIN

                                              for N.C. Attorney General

                                                             BETH A. WOOD

                                                               for N.C. Auditor

                                                          JENNA WADSWORTH

                                                 for N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture

                                                            WAYNE GOODWIN

                                                 for N.C. Commissioner of Insurance

                                                               JESSICA HOLMES

                                                     for N.C. Commissioner of Labor

                                                            ELAINE MARSHALL

                                                         for N.C. Secretary of State

                                                             JEN MANGRUM

                                                   for N.C. Supt. of Public Instruction

                                                         RONNIE CHATTERJI

                                                              for N.C. Treasurer






By Cash Michaels

Special to NCBPA members:


        As of today, Sept. 24, 2020, there are 40 days before the crucial November 3 general election.

        To all voters in North Carolina, that means you have 15 days left before the regular registration deadline, October, twenty-one days before the "One Stop Early Voting" period. This will be October 15 - October 31. There are 33 days left to request your mail-in absentee ballot. The last day for this is Oct. 27.

        However, if you do plan to vote by mail, you are urged not to wait, but to do so immediately, given that it is fully expected that there will be mail delays, and your mail-in ballots may not arrive by Election Day in time to count.

        Thus far, out of 7,144,785 registered voters in North Carolina, as of  Sept. 20, 930,047 mail-in absentee ballots had been requested.

        All registered North Carolina voters may request a mail-in absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020 election, but, in order for them to count, they must be properly filled out, signed and witnessed.

        According to the website, “After you request a ballot, please allow a week to 10 days for it to get to you. If you do not receive your ballot within that time, contact your county Board of Elections. When your ballot is accepted by your county Board of Elections, that information will be posted in your voter record.

        You may request a mail-in ballot, but decide not to use it, and go vote in person instead.  You may not do both, as you can only vote once.

        Voter photo identification is not required for the Nov. 3 election.

        Back to mail-in voting. There has been "a slew" of national articles in the past week noting that, with North Carolina being the first in the nation to institute mail-in absentee voting as of Sept. 17, mail-in ballots from African-American voters are being rejected by the SBOE at least four times as much as those from White North Carolina voters.

        The majority of those rejected ballots are because either of a mistake or the failure to have someone fill out the witness information.

        The reason for this has nothing to do with color, for many young voters make the same mistake, experts note.

        Mail-in voting is new for those groups voting absentee for the first time, and, thus, mistakes are made during the process.

        “We’re seeing already a lack of familiarity with the process, whether it’s signing the ballot or having the witness information completed,” political scientist, Professor Michael Bitzer, of Catawba College, Salisbury, N. C., told the website FiveThirtyEight, “There tends to be a greater number from voters who were previously in-person voters. If you look at the numbers [from Sept. 14], the ballots denied due to incomplete witness information, 55 percent of those voters had voted in person in 2016.”

        Right now, the number of Black rejected ballots is less than a thousand, but that number can grow rapidly if voters are not made aware and the ballots corrected.

        Luckily, North Carolina is one of a handful of states that does allow rejected mail-in voters to correct their mistakes once the ballot envelopes are returned.

        Two of the most common mistakes are the failure to sign mail-in ballots where indicated and failure to have one witness sign where indicated.

        The best advice is, once you have received your mail-in ballot, plan to have your witness ready before you fill it out.

        You can either mail back your ballot by Oct. 27 or drop it off at your county Board of Elections before Nov. 3.

        All ballots will be tracked. You can look up your ballot status (received, accepted or rejected) at For ballots to be accepted, they must arrive by 5 p. m. on Nov. 3, Election Day, or be postmarked by Nov. 3 and arrive by Nov. 6.






By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

This week it was reported that a “Women for Trump” tour through North Carolina was kicking off, and Trump himself is visiting Charlotte today - his fifth NC trip in a month - and that was after the Republican president made a fly-in campaign stop at Fayetteville Airport last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden made his first in-person foray into North Carolina with a visit to Charlotte yesterday, having limited the campaign to two virtual events last week.

The Joe Biden - Kamala Harris presidential campaign has made it clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited his ability to freely campaign in key battleground states like North Carolina, and yet, in a Sept. 18th non-scientific survey of voters on social media, the general feeling is in order to win North Carolina six weeks from now, and with the race in North Carolina between Biden and Trump a virtual deadheat, 47-47, the Democrat has to do more.

The question isn’t whether Joe Biden will get the lion share of the Black vote cast, but rather will it be enough to help him win North Carolina outright?

The question posed on Facebook was, “With less than 50 days to go to the election, what is the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris team doing wrong?”

The answers from both Black and white posters were striking.

Tom E. rhetorically asked of Harris, “ Where has she been?, suggesting Sen. Harris is not as visible on the camping trial as she should be.

Al L. Posited, “Need to go to Pennsylvania, Carolina and Florida, and not [just to the big cities, they need to hit the suburbs and outlying areas. Can’t let [Trump] out campaign them.”

Al later added, “Gotta do more and can’t stop.”

S. Annamarie warned, “ Allowing the “socialism” message from the trump campaign to steal the Latino vote.”

Vince B. Didn’t mince words.

“In my opinion, they are running one of the worst campaigns I have witnessed. Milk toast, softball play defense marketing strategies that, quite frankly, makes the entire Democratic Party look weak. So many issues to attack 45 [on], and I have yet to see one of any substance or one that makes me feel a certain way.”

Diann F. Said, “They need to go to the swing states and talk to the people. Don’t let 45 steal Latino votes with lies. Fight. We know there’s a pandemic, but be safe and get out there and act like they want the job. Assume nothing.”

Q. Monique E. Said she didn’t think Biden an Harris were “screwing up…”, but “they are not delivering the message that solves the problems. All the advertising is about vision. You can’t give a hungry person a picture of food. They must actually be given food.”

She continued, “It feels like the Democrats aren’t able to fight the Republicans because when they look across the table at them, they share more in common…than they actually share with their Democratic voters….”

Corona CK. Wrote, “Rural area’s outreach needs to improve. I view the Trump outreach in my area from car and boat parades. Voter registration campaign outreach from the Republicans. National Democratic Party needs to spend more in the South.” 

Other commenters suggested that the Biden-Harris campaign needs to “get out more;” find a way to Appel to the “uneducated” Trump voter;  do joint campaign rally with Gov. Cooper and other state Democrats; and talk more about saving Medicare and Social Security.

The Biden campaign vows that the candidates will be more visible across the state in the coming weeks.