After a year of the toughest campaign that I have faced since 2014, I want to reach out directly to this community and offer my gratitude. I am grateful for your continued trust in me to represent Chatham and Randolph counties in Raleigh as your N.C. House Representative and House Democratic Leader. I know that this win was only made possible with the support of voters from all parties and affiliations and I am deeply appreciative of your faith in my service.
When we run for office, we have to choose which party we represent, but I want to reiterate my commitment to every person in this district, regardless of political affiliation and regardless of whether you supported my campaign. This community will continue to grow and improve, and everyone should benefit from our continued prosperity.
Our district was redrawn last year during the redistricting process, making this race much more competitive than before. I knew that it would take a massive effort from volunteers, friends and family to help us reach the finish line. This was also a time of change for our local party, with a new Chatham County Chair, Liz Guinan, taking the lead. Her team worked day and night to organize and strategize, and the result speaks for itself: Our slate of candidates won every race up and down the ballot. Our county had the highest rate of voting, once again beating the other 99 counties with a 65% turnout.
From the bottom of my heart: Thank you all for your unwavering support over the past year. Without your trust in me, this victory would not have been possible.
The next few weeks will be spent catching up with family and friends, but the hard work ahead of us is right around the corner. Our community is the best in the state; I could not think of a better place to call home than Chatham County. But we are far from perfect, which is why I want to continue building on the progress we have made so far.
Too many residents in Chatham County still have trouble accessing safe, clean water. In 2022, that is unacceptable. I have worked over the past session to secure funding for wastewater treatment and that work will continue. As this county continues to grow, we have to make long-term investments in our infrastructure today. We cannot wait until it is too late or too expensive to make a difference.
Improvements on our water systems are not just to our benefit, either. Chatham is blessed to have an abundance of natural beauty, and that should be protected. With new industries on the way, we need to work with local nonprofits and local governments to balance progress with preservation. We can and should continue to grow, but it needs to be in a way that protects the parts of Chatham County that make it so special.
North Carolinians voted for a divided government yet again. Governor Roy Cooper remains in office for two more years, and while Republicans in the State Senate captured a supermajority, House Democrats held onto enough seats to keep his ability to veto extreme legislation alive. Over the past two years as the House Democratic Leader, I have seen what is possible when we work together to tackle major, bipartisan issues.
We can put aside politics to accomplish a greater good. Bipartisan work over the past few years has brought massive investments to Chatham and Randolph. Toyota, VinFast and Wolfspeed will help renew the manufacturing sector in North Carolina. All three of those projects are right in our backyard, creating thousands of jobs and bringing millions of dollars to our local economy.
I will continue to fight in Raleigh to ensure that you have the opportunity to get great health care, a good education and a good job right here in Chatham County. Thank you, again, for trusting me with this responsibility.
Rep. Robert Reives II of Goldston represents Chatham County and a portion of Randolph County in the N.C House of Representatives, serving Dist. 54.