The new 45th District of the N.C. Senate no longer has a democratic candidate running for the November general election as Brandon Anderson withdrew his candidacy in June. A committee already has begun the process of finding a candidate to run against Sen. Deanna Ballard, a Republican from Watauga.
Anderson, who is the president of the Wilkes County Democratic Party, a position he went on leave from to run for office, made the announcement public Tuesday on his Facebook page, posting a copy of the letter he said he had forwarded to the North Carolina Board of Elections on June 19.
“It’s with a heavy heart I announce today that I will withdraw from the race to be your next N.C. Senator from the 45th District,” the letter begins. “This campaign has been entirely about you, the people, and my goal in leading this charge has always been about improving lives and building a better, more inclusive community: a true 45th we can believe in.”
Anderson explained that his work with his growing ministry, Christ the Liberator, coined on its Facebook page as “a worshipping community made up of LGBTQ people. Sharing that ALL people are made in God’s own image and nothing can separate us from God’s love,” is the reason for his withdrawal.
“As a member of multiple communities, religious and LGBTQIA, my eyes have been opened to the need my brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors have that I am capable of filling,” Anderson continued in the letter. “I will never leave the people, but I must change my role in these troubling times to ensure souls are restored and marginalized communities have a voice and a shoulder.”
Roy Thomasson, chairman of the Surry County Democratic Party, said Wednesday the next step is for a committee of representatives from each county in the 45th District to vote on a new candidate.
The State Senate District Executive Committee, which is made of up of two representatives from each county, Alleghany, Ashe, Iredell, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and the western portion of Surry, has met once already, Thomasson said, and plans to meet again next week. Surry County precincts in the 45th District include Elkin 1, 2, 3, Bryan, Franklin, Marsh, Dobson 1, 2, 3, Stewarts Creek 1, 2, Mount Airy 8, Rockford, Eldora and Siloam.
“We haven’t decided on a replacement yet,” he said, noting that he attended the meeting solely has a county party chairman, not as a voting member of the committee.
“The committee is being coordinated by the Fifth District Democratic Party Chairman Charlie Wallin,” Thomasson said.
“Discussions have been had with several replacements, so the committee will reconvene and make a decision,” he said.
Once a decision is made, the name of the candidate will be presented to the North Carolina Board of Elections to be put on the November ballot.
Ballard defeated incumbent Sen. Shirley Randleman in the primary to win the Republican ticket after the redrawn lines for the N.C. Senate seats put them in the same district.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.