Pastor makes second bid for House seat
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Friday, February 16, 2018
Hoping that the second time is the charm, a local pastor has filed to run to represent Nash County in the N.C. House.
The Rev. James Gailliard, a Democrat, filed his notice of candidacy Thursday for N.C. House District 25.
Gailliard, who lost to N.C. Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash, in 2016, will face Collins' hand-picked successor candidate, John Check, a Republican who filed to run for the office Monday.
Gailliard, senior pastor of Word Tabernacle Church, said he sees his run for office as complementary to his existing work in Nash County.
“The necessary work of the faith community, not-for-profits, human, economic and community development entities is often hindered and not helped by state and federal legislation,” Gailliard said. “This is particularly the case in Nash County. I am running for public office because I believe in legislation that advances the interest of our entire community.”
Gailliard said Nash County and the state needs pragmatic, common-sense legislation regarding education, economics, health care, housing and social policy that can only be authored by a group of legislators capable of considering various opinions, ideologies and perspectives.
“I am interested in finding common ground for the common good so that each resident has an opportunity to advance and become civically engaged and contributors to our tax base,” Gailliard said.
So far, Gailliard's only opponent is Check, a retired Methodist pastor who serves as senior advisor to Dewey Clark, the president of N.C. Wesleyan College. Both men have called on their Christian faith in choosing to run for office.
Since Collins is moving to Wake Forest, he asked Check, his longtime friend, to step in and run for the seat he's held since 2010. Collins said Check would do a better job than he did.
Check said government is one of three ordained institutions with the other two being family and church. He said he would let God guide him in his legislative choices.
Gailliard moved to North Carolina in 2005 to launch Word Tabernacle Church, which has since grown into a regional megachurch, attracting families from 10 counties. Gailliard supporters said the church has generated millions of dollars annually to the local economy, been responsible for job creation, implemented a robust system for collaboration among the business community and the nonprofit sector and developed sustainable planning tools for rural communities.
Gailliard sits on the Board of Visitors for N.C. Wesleyan College among other civic boards.