Three vie in state House race


Democrat James Gailliard, left, Republican John Check, center, and Libertarian Larry Taylor are vying for the state House District 25 seat.


Staff Writer

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Three newcomers are in the running to fill the vacant state House District 25 seat, which represents parts of Nash County including Rocky Mount.

James D. Gailliard, a Democrat; John Check, a Republican; and Nick Taylor, a Libertarian; are vying for the seat being  vacated by a retiring state Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash.

None of the three candidates ave never held elected office.

Gailliard said he has a proven track record in community service that has reached every group and demographic. With his election, he said, all residents in Nash County would receive representation instead of a select few.

“I have been a proven and consistent fixture in human, economic and community development of Rocky Mount and Nash County that includes permanent and construction job creation, millions of dollars of revenue to Nash County and an increase in community service,” Gailliard said. “I can be trusted in the future based upon my record of the past.”

Check said as a constitutional conservative, he wants to keep North Carolina on the right track. Eight years ago, North Carolina was listed as the 44th worst state to do business in — and according to Forbes' April edition, the state is now considered the state with the best business climate.

“Someone said, 'a rising tide lifts all boats,'” Check said. “A better business climate benefits everyone. We have made great gains and cannot afford to go back to the same progressive liberal policies of the past. I am for limited government and fewer barriers to our business community.”

Check said he was raised in Eastern North Carolina and spent the bulk of his time living here so he understands Eastern North Carolina values.

“The values of faith and family,” Check said. “I’m a person of integrity who will not allow serving in the N.C. House to affect my values. I understand the middle class and the hardships that the middle class faces. I live in a modest middle-class neighborhood. We bought our home in 2006 while living in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.”

Check said he's lived in numerous communities in Eastern North Carolina as a United Methodist minister and believes he can reach across the aisle and work with others and speak up for the needs of all people who live in the often-neglected eastern part of the state.

Taylor said as a Nash County native, he understands the values and priorities of the residents of the community first-hand.

“Nash County deserves a representative that represents everyone in the district, not just members of one political party,” Taylor said. “Although I’m younger than both my challengers, I have voted in Nash County elections longer than both candidates combined. I’m invested in Nash County’s past, present and future. One of the major reasons I decided to run was to make Nash County a better place for our families, our neighbors and more importantly our children. Nash County deserves a local voice in Raleigh.”

Gailliard, 53, is the pastor of Word Tabernacle Church; Check, 63, is a teacher at N.C. Wesleyan College; and Taylor is a teacher at Northern Nash High School.

Gailliard said he offers true bipartisanship.

“My reach and service to this community has been a true boots-on-the-ground effort that has touched all races of people and people from all walks of life regardless of religion, income or political affiliation,” he said. “Second, proof of reward for work product. I am not running for office as an entitlement because of my life-long friendships. Nepotism has no place in public service. We should teach the next generation that race, religion or gender should not be an inherit advantage or disadvantage.”

Check said he's a political outsider, but not an outsider to North Carolina.

“I have lived in a number of counties within the eastern part of the state and chose to purchase a home in Rocky Mount/Nash County,” Check said. “While living in Dallas, Texas, for eight years, I worked for an IBM value-added reseller selling IBM mainframe computers nationally. Additionally, I started and ran a marketing and media department at Dallas Seminary. I started and ran my own business and understand some of the challenges small business owners face. I have negotiated my schedule and compensation with the college so I can dedicate enough time to be faithful to the people of Nash County.”

Check said his business experience, as well as his ministry experience, offers a unique perspective that will be beneficial as he serves in the state House.

“My understanding of social issues that affect us all was enhanced by my 27 years serving as a United Methodist minister,” he said. “I have a broad range of life experiences that I believe make me uniquely qualified to serve the good people of District 25.”

As a high school teacher and a father of a pre-kindegarden student in the public education system, Taylor said he will bring his experience in the classroom to the General Assembly.

“Our children deserves a smarter educational system that truly prepares our students after high school,” Taylor said. “Too often, our children are used as pawns in the current two-party political system. We need to put political differences aside in order to develop our youth for the present and future.”

Editor’s Note: Part two of this article, in which the candidates discuss crime and education, will appear in Friday’s edition of the Telegram.