Editor’s note: To help island voters decide in the March 3 primary, the Observer will run statements by local candidates as we get them. The following are two of the three Democrat candidates running for county commissioner for Lake Landing. The third candidate, Barbara Gibbs, did not provide a statement to the Ocracoke Observer.

Statement from candidate Marsha Gibbs:

 I have lived in Hyde county for most of my life, moving here at a very young age. Most of my family lives here. There are many reasons why I decided to run for this position. The main reason being, I love this county. I have worked for Hyde County, providing emergency medical services to our citizens. I currently volunteer with Engelhard Volunteer Fire Department, and I deliver meals on wheels every week. While out and about, I hear the concerns. Our citizens have these concerns that need to be addressed. We can no longer sit idle and hope for things to change. We have to be the ones who make the difference, or at least try to make the difference. There are many areas that need addressing, such as businesses leaving our communities, services being offered in one area and not the other. And most of all, county spending. We are a very poor county, and we cannot afford wasteful spending. Jobs are another issue. We need more businesses that offer employment. We need ways to keep our kids off the streets experimenting with drugs. We need ways to keep them here to grow our communities. Instead of them leaving when they graduate high school and our county continuing to shrink. We need to offer more services to our elderly, promote our senior center more and ensure all of our citizens have access. We need to be able to provide hospice over on Ocracoke like it is provided to our citizens here on the mainland Ocracoke is a large asset to Hyde County. So, we need to promote it more and provide more services to our islanders. There are many issues and many I have not addressed but I am willing to listen to everyone who has concerns. I cannot make anyone any promises to correct any of these issues. But what I can promise is I promise to do my very best and try to make the difference for each individual here in this county. That is a promise.

Statement from candidate Thomas Midgette:

Thomas Midgette.

I am a retired teacher\school administrator with 30 years in public education. I was born raised in Hyde County. I played football at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., where I earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I have three adult children, Thomas Jr. and Camille and Jaleel. I am married to Theresa S. Midgette. I currently teach 3- and 4-year-olds I am running for Hyde County commissioner because I feel that currently my community is not active participants in county government. I am tired of our leaders saying, “That won’t work.” We need leaders who ask, “How can we make that work?”

I want to make Hyde better by focusing on 1. Education: how we can better support our teachers and students. 2 Employment opportunities: find and or create jobs within the county and training for jobs outside of the county.  3. Economic improvement for citizens: not just jobs, but jobs that allow people to provide for today and tomorrow.

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