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Besse to run against Kaplan
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Besse to run against Kaplan

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Dan Besse, a former member of the Winston-Salem City Council, will run next year for the at-large seat held by Forsyth County Commissioner Ted Kaplan.

Both men are Democrats. Besse announced his candidacy on his Facebook page.

“If we’re going to keep building a forward-looking, inclusive Forsyth County that works for all our people, we’ve got to get to work now in preparation for the critical 2022 elections,” Besse said in the post Sept. 26. “From public education to public health, and from our environment to equity for all, we have a lot of work to do—and a lot of good people ready to share in that work.

“But this effort won’t go forward without powerful forces in opposition,” he said. “The Trumpists are coming after us with everything they’ve got, and they won’t fight fair because they don’t believe in democracy, and they don’t believe in human rights for all.”

Kaplan said Tuesday that he plans to run for re-election in 2022.

“I think he has run for several things,” Kaplan said of Besse’s candidacy. “This is just one more to put on his wall.

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“I understood that he was looking for a job, and maybe this is the one he wants,” he added.

The two will meet in the Democratic primary in March 2022.

Besse served on the city council from 2001 to 2020, representing the Southwest Ward. He didn’t run for re-election for his seat on the council in 2020, opting instead to run for the N.C. House District 74 seat.

Besse lost in a close race to Rep. Jeff Zenger, a Republican.

In 2018, Beese was defeated by State Rep. Donny Lambeth, a Republican, for the N.C. House District 75 seat. In May 2008, Besse was an unsuccessful statewide candidate for Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

“I prepared for a fight,” Besse said on his Facebook page, referring to the commissioners race.

Last Saturday, Besse spoke briefly outside of City Hall in support of the local women’s march for reproductive rights.

“For 20 years, I had the privilege of working with Planned Parenthood here in the Piedmont...,” Besse said. “I’m proud to stand with you to work for that.”




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Two weeks after three Rural Hall town council members and the town manager resigned, the interim town manager, Frank James, resigned Wednesday. James, who retired in 2017 after 38 years as town manager, came back to resume duties after Megan M. Garner resigned and then took a position as city manager for Graham. On Oct. 21, three council members abruptly resigned after a meeting, citing conflicts among elected officials and what they called harassment and unfounded allegations of financial impropriety lodged againt Garner. State Treasure Dale Folwell has called for an investigation into the town's financial statements as a way to settle the matter once and for all. 

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