by Jeff Saviano
This spring primary season, the citizens of the southeastern county of Robeson will, for all intents and purposes, elect their Sheriff. In this area the old boy Democratic Party network still dominates. Competing for office are incumbent Sheriff Glenn Maynor and former Sheriff Hubert Stone.
We'd like to remind the candidates, their party machines, and other city and county officials that many good citizens of Robeson are still not convinced that county politics have moved beyond the reputation the county garnered in the 1980s for corruption, racism, and dirty tricks, problems which weighed extra heavily on the county's black, Lumbee Indian, and poor white populations.
A few residents invited us to look into their suspicions of hanky-panky. We tried, but a paper like this has neither the staff nor the resources to undertake such an investigation. Okay, this isn't the 1980s, when there was a plague of unresolved murders, including that of judicial candidate Julian Pierce and the odd suicide of his killer. And these aren't the days when a commission appointed by Republican Jim Martin found systemic racism in the judicial system. But there still are a lot of people who seem genuinely afraid to speak publicly about their experiences.
If this were a big, rich newspaper, we'd take on a thorough investigation of the sources of power, wealth and politics in Robeson. (That is, if we were rich enough to do that for the Triangle too.)
As it is, let's express our gratitude that there are still people in the county who train a sharp and skeptical eye on the activities of their law enforcement officials and political candidates.
It sounds to us like there's a lot to watch.
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