Over twenty years ago, Republican Dennis Davis defeated Democrat “Dirty Trick Guru” Dean Westmoreland for the Office of North Carolina State Senator. At that time the Senatorial District included Cleveland County, Rutherford County and parts-maybe all of Polk County. Dennis became the first REPUBLICAN State Senator in this District since reconstruction-about 140 years.
At that time, the Republican Party in Cleveland County was said to be able to have their Party Meetings in a “Phone Booth.” Which was close to being 100% correct. Also, at that time, the Republican Party was very selective in the candidates that they backed. The Republican Executive Committee members (all 5 or 6) were said to rather have a Democrat in office than a Republican that wouldn’t “Kiss their Ass.” That was 100% true back then and about 95% true now.
But Dennis Davis got out and beat the bushes for the common man’s vote and on Election Day won over Dean Westmoreland. Which was a shock to Dean Westmoreland, the Democrat Party hacks and Republican Party hacks alike. Then Dennis went to Raleigh, wouldn’t turn corrupt and also would NOT kiss the Republican Party’s collective ass. In Cleveland County or in Raleigh.
So, a plan was hatched. Not by the Republicans. They were too stupid back in the day. The Democrats, however, were used to dirty tricks and knew the Republican Party wouldn’t mind the Democrats doing their dirty work for them. The plan was simple. Stuff the ballot box at the next election.
There was a complication though. A Lincoln county Republican lawyer, Greg Smith filed to run against a Cleveland County Democrat Judge Keaton Fonville. At that time, Cleveland County was joined with Rutherford and Polk county for the NC Senate District. Cleveland County was tied in with Lincoln county for the Judicial District. But, no matter for the Democrats. Cleveland County had the biggest population in both districts. So, the plan was the same. Stuff the ballot box in Cleveland County with enough “straight Democrat” ballots to ger rid of both Dennis Davis and Greg Smith. Kill two birds with on stone, so to speak.
Now, the Democrats had to get their hands on a bunch of Straight Democrat Ballots to stuff the ballot boxes with. That was easy too. Get the BLACK Democrats to do it. First, they would come up with a scheme. Black voters then, as they are now, have to be “Educated” on how to mark-up their ballots. So, the scheme was to have a bunch of Sample Ballots printed up that looked exactly like real ballots. Hand mark those ballots for a Straight Democrat vote and use these ballots to stuff the ballot box on Election Day. No early voting in those days. The dirty trick Democrats then enlisted the black churches and their congregations to hand mark “over Ten Thousand” so-called sample ballots (that were not marked as :SAMPLE BALLOTS), had dozens of black democrats up at the Democrat headquarters (Where NewGrass Brewery is now.) and hand mark over ten thousand straight democrat ballots that were exactly the same as any the Board of Elections used on Election Day. Then, the cover-story, as written up in the Shelby Star, was that the black churches would distribute those “over ten thousand ballots at the black churches on the Sunday before election day so black voters could be educated on how to mark their real ballots ON election day.
But the cover story had a hole in it. At the time, there were only around 8,000 registered black democrat voters in Cleveland County at that time. Printing up over ten thousand and hand-marking every one was clearly overkill if the sole purpose was to “Educate” Black voters.
And, in the Judge race. The Democrat Judges, ALL white, wanted each and every one of them to be somewhere else (an alibi) when the ballots were counted on election day night. It was a tradition then, as it is now, for interested folks to meet at the uptown Shelby Fire Station while the votes are counted. So, that would be where all the Judges would be when the vote was counted and all the way up until a winner was declared. A great plan. A Perfect Crime. Almost!!!
What the ballot stuffers had to know was how many ballots marked with Dennis Davis or Greg Smith they had to remove and “stuff” the phony Straight Democrat Ballots in their place.
they had to have the county from Cleveland County Rutherford County and Polk County so they could figure how to beat Dennis Davis. They had to know the vote count in Lincoln County to know how many phony ballots were needed to beat Greg Smith. Since they were going to beat both Dennis Davis and Greg Smith with phony stuffed Cleveland County ballots, whichever was the most, was all they needed. Plus, a little extra margin. Easy-peasy, but it would take a little time. If the races were close enough, only a few large Shelby Precincts would actually have to have their ballot boxes stuffed. Those large Shelby precincts that had large black populations.
So, they would have to plan for a little extra time to get the count from all the other counties and get the count from Cleveland County to determining just how many phony stuffed ballots they needed. And the Cleveland County Judges all had to stay up at the Fire Station until all the dirty dealings were done.
To cover for the extra time needed to do all that figuring, the Cleveland County ballot count would have to remain in operation until all the other county races were counted and announced, so delays in Counting Cleveland County ballots would have to be invented. This was thought to be not a real problem.
But, some real problems did crop up. Lincoln county had some delays, Rutherford and Polk Counties were running late. So, the ballot stuffers in Cleveland County had to delay even more.
The delays were relayed to the Fire Station to. I was there. And so were the contingent of Judges. By midnight they were pretty much all huddled up but in plain sight for anyone there to see. One o’clock in the morning and the judges ere still there. Almost by themselves, except for the Firemen. I had also gone home. The pieces of the puzzle floating around in my mind, but not all put together yet. Two O’clock. Three O’clock. And almost 4 o’clock in the morning the Judges and their alibi’s all intact were given the results. Dennis Davis barely lost and Greg Smith lost by a wider margin. The Judges went home too. Mission accomplished. And this was the first time and the last time that the Cleveland County Judges had ever banded together as they did on that particular election night vote count.
It was soon thereafter that I figured out what had happened. Dennis Davis, to my belief, figured it out before I did. Or he was told. But it was too late to do anything about it. And I waited over 20 years to tell this story myself.
And I told you that story to tell you this.
Dirty politics is still alive and well in Cleveland County. Dirty politics and Plantation Politics using the black community as pawns were widely used in 2018 during Democrat Commissioner Eddie Holbrook’s re-election bid where Holbrook spent over $68,000 on his campaign, only to lose to Deb Hardin-who only spent $3,000. Now, a “rumor” is going around that Eddie Holbrook has enlisted Dennis Davis to be his proxy (puppet) candidate for this 2020 Commissioner race. The hope being that Ronnie Whetstine and Johnny Hutchins will win re-election and Dennis Davis will win and they will all march to Eddie Holbrook’s drumbeat. I have given this rumor great thought.
I have concluded this rumor is most likely a hoax, Dennis Davis has well proven over the years that he is NOT a proxy, a puppet or going to kiss anybody’s ass. Republican Executive Committee’s ass either.
Dennis Davis knows how local government works. He knows all the players involved and he knows about all the problems. Dennis Davis knows a lot about the history of how Cleveland County operates. Denis Davis even brought up the School Merger of the Kings Mountain, Shelby and County Schools and how unnecessary and phony it was in the Candidate’s Forum at the Community College. It will be hard to get one over on Dennis Davis as a County Commissioner.
And, Dennis Davis, in conjunction with Robbie Morgan and Tommy McNeilly as commissioners would be set to establish a new Commissioner majority to enact and carry out the changes that need to be made in county government.
So, Dennis Davis gets my recommendation for election to the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners. Along with Robbie Morgan and Tommy McNeilly as previously stated.
For your convenience, I have prepared a real Sample Ballot of my recommendations for the Commissioners and School Board 2020 Elections. Please get out to vote and vote as shown below.
2020 Primary Elections for Cleveland County
County Commissioners and Cleveland County Board of Education
Note: These are Republican Primary Elections as
There are No Democrat Primary Elections for these offices!!!
2020 Primary Elections–Voting Guide
2020 Republican Primary Elections for County Commissioner
2020 Republican Primary Elections for School Board
Note: You can print off this page and take it to the Voting booth with you.
Nobody has the authority to take this voting guide away from you. Inside the polling place or outside.
You also have my permission to copy this page and pass the copies around as voting guides for your friends, neighbors and relatives.
Thank you for voting.