Fight is on to Replace McMahan
That's when a relative handful of Mecklenburg County Republicans elected Ruth Samuelson to replace Rep. Ed McMahan on the November ballot. McMahan, a six-term lawmaker and one of the most influential Republicans in the House, decided not to run because of his wife's illness. Members of the GOP executive committee endorsed Samuelson, the person McMahan picked to replace him.
Samuelson, 46, is a former Mecklenburg County commissioner. She faces Democratic newcomer Paula McSwain, 57, in District 104. The district runs through southeast Charlotte, from Myers Park to Interstate 485 near Pineville.
The district votes overwhelmingly Republican. So much so that McSwain is tired of hearing about it.
"That's my name," she says, "`Paula-McSwain-in-a-heavily-Republican-district.' "
McSwain, a native of Elizabeth City in Eastern North Carolina, says her main concern is health care.
"I am appalled when I talk to people who don't have health care insurance," she says. "I would like to see some kind of program that would afford health care to everybody in North Carolina, especially children."
Samuelson says she hopes to bring "a career of personal and public integrity" to Raleigh.
She says she'd work "to make the process more open and accessible to the hardworking people who pay for the government" and to make lawmakers "good stewards of the people's money, spending only what we need and making sure what we spend actually gets the job done."
- Age: 57.
- Occupation: Homemaker.
- Family: Husband, Bob McSwain; one son.
- Education: Attended East Carolina University.
- Community involvement: Volunteer at Christ Lutheran Church; vice president Myers Park Band Boosters 3 years; volunteered at Olde Providence Elementary, Carmel Middle and Myers Park High schools.
- Elected offices held: None.
- Top priority: Education, health care.
- How to contact: 704-541-5067; www.paulamcswain4nchouse.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Age: 46.
- Occupation: Founder and President, "ruth - Philanthropy in Motion," a consulting firm that provides advice to foundations and other large-scale donors.
- Family: Husband, Ken; three sons, one daughter.
- Education: B.A., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1981.
- Community involvement: Foster parent; Crown Financial Ministries coach; Transportation Planning Advisory Committee; President's Council, Central Piedmont Community College ; Board of Visitors, Johnson C. Smith University; Charlotte Trustee, Speedway Children's Charities; national board member, Peacemaker Ministries; vice chairman (chair elect), Dowd YMCA; Action Committee founding member, Little Sugar Creek Greenway; Board of Advisors, Right Moves for Youth.
- Elected offices held: Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, 2000, 2002.
- Top priority: "Bring a career of personal and public integrity to the Legislature, committing to make the process more open and accessible to the hard-working people who pay for the government. Increase the amount of take-home dollars mothers and fathers have at the end of the day for their family's needs, like computers, clothes, college tuition and retirement savings."
- How to contact: 704-277-5221; www.ruthsamuelson.com; email@example.com.