Democrat Gladys Robinson and independent Bruce Davis submitted to questions from the Guilford County Community PAC tonight at New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Greensboro. The two are vying for the District 28 seat in the NC Senate, which encompasses east Greensboro and most of High Point. A third candidate, Republican Trudy Wade, was not present.
PAC treasurer Millicent N. Lee raised a question about whether the competition between Robinson and Davis might allow Wade to win the election. Both Robinson and Davis are black, and while Davis will be listed as an independent on the ballot, he is a registered Democrat who currently serves as such on the Guilford County Commission. The Democratic Party enjoys an advantage in voter registration in District 28, but has less margin of safety this year considering that Republicans are going into this election energized and mobilized.
“There’s talk that Bruce Davis and Gladys Robinson will split the community vote, and Trudy Wade will ease on in the door,” Davis said. “One thing about me, I study numbers. Personally, I don’t think – I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong once or twice – but the numbers do not support Trudy Wade. The race will be split…. To say that our community is split, first of all it was split because of the deception that was created. It will split no doubt, but I plan to be the victor when it splits. Trudy Wade – the numbers don’t support her. Our community is more in tune with what’s happening than at any time in the last hundred years.”
Davis has said he would have filed to run had he known that the seat’s current occupant, Katie Dorsett, would stand down. Dorsett upset many Democrats when she first filed for the seat, and then withdrew at the last minute, after which her friend, Robinson, filed.
Both candidates emphasized their humble backgrounds. Bruce Davis told the audience about his military service in the Marine Corps. Gladys Robinson highlighted her experience as a student activist at Bennett College working to improve working conditions for sanitation workers and cafeteria workers.
“We knew that something was wrong,” Robinson said. “Most of them were us.”
Robinson pitched her experience with healthcare and education.
“It’s important for you to know that, no, I’m not an elected official, so if you count that as experience, I don’t have it,” she said. “But if you count as experience being an advocate in this community for almost 40 years and working along side you, learning as I was a student at Bennett College and getting out in the community and working with people and their needs, ever since then working for the most vulnerable populations. I haven’t worked with the big businesses. I have worked with the people who needed jobs. I’ve worked with the people who are sick. I’ve worked with people who needed education. And I’ve advocated and helped teach people how to advocate because that’s what we need to do. So if you’re looking for background and experience as a community advocate, then I’m your person."