After winning the State House 52 seat in 2008, Republican Jamie Boles went 10 years without a Democratic challenge. That changed two years ago when businessman and former teacher Lowell Simon stepped in.
For a second consecutive election cycle, the two are facing off against each other.
Both Boles and Simon bring unique assets to the table. Boles, as an Aberdeen native and longtime owner of Boles Funeral Home, is widely known and well connected in the district. Simon brings his diverse experience as an entrepreneur and someone who spent several years in Moore County Schools classrooms. When he talks about the needs of education, his arguments come from firsthand knowledge.
Simon is a better candidate this election. He’s learned from his initial run, and is more thoughtful and understanding of the political game.
Boles has improved a bit too, at one point even sounding a bit wistful for a day when lawmakers were less divisive and more collegial.
Having interviewed each at length, we primarily weighed how Boles and Simon would serve Moore County more than how they’d vote on state issues. While the latter is important, we are looking for a representative best in sync with Moore and its needs. In that respect, our belief from 2018 holds true: Boles remains the best candidate for the district.
Lots of Local Impact
Call our thinking parochial, but we need someone in Raleigh who can deliver state resources to Moore County and move legislation important to this community.
Boles has been effective at both. Perhaps his biggest impact is delivering more than $30 million in state investment in the Department of Public Safety’s Samarcand Training Academy in western Moore.
The center provides basic, in-service and advanced training for DPS law enforcement agencies, as well as correctional officers, probation/parole officers and juvenile justice employees. Other agencies also may conduct training at the facility from time to time.
Included in that training are important de-escalation techniques designed to reduce deadly or violent incidents involving officers. That’s an important economic impact to a part of Moore County needing it.
Boles, like Senate colleague Tom McInnis, sponsored legislation to give Woodlake property owners a way to raise money to fix their defunct lake dam. And Boles teamed with McInnis to secure state financial incentives totaling $18 million to recruit a second headquarter of the U.S. Golf Association.
Boles has been effective in working out smaller local issues too. When an old state law made it impossible for Pinehurst Resort to distribute its beer at its own properties, Boles helped fix the problem.
And when we were losing out on corporate events to larger cities because of the uneven enforcement of “funsies,” no-stakes casino nights? Boles got a law passed allowing charities and others to host fundraising events featuring casino-style games and alcohol without worrying about breaking the law.
These small issues add up to a significant impact on our economy.
Total Agreement Not Realistic
Looking ahead, Boles thinks there is now momentum to fix the unfair “tier” system of how state aid flows to counties. Moore County is ranked as a “wealthy” county, a status that belies the more rural and struggling northern half. Boles supports a fix that, using U.S. Census data, could recategorize those areas and make them eligible for more assistance.
By no means do we agree with Boles on all matters — but neither do we agree with Simon on all issues. Total concurrence is just not an expectation anyone should have. Boles has taken stands — and will take more — opposite of our view.
There’s not a lot of artifice with Boles; you know where he stands, and he’s not shy about sharing it. But at day’s end, he also knows how to work within the political world to get things done.
For all these reasons, we endorse Republican Jamie Boles for State House District 52.