It may be premature to state that well-begun will be well-done, but we can hope.

Republican and Blowing Rock resident Rep. Ray Pickett has held his august position only since Jan. 13, but from an interview with a Watauga Democrat reporter, we like what he’s laying out, so far.

Several issues Pickett campaigned strongly on are among his first stated priorities, and they are priorities that need immediate attention in the High Country: education, transportation and rural access to broadband — items, during this time of pandemic, that are sometimes tied into one package.

They are also local items that have, in one form or another, been before the state legislature for years: control of our school calendar, infrastructure transportation needs unique to our mountain roads and too many families too under-connected to the internet, are a sample.

As was his expressed desire, Pickett needed to lobby hard for key committee positions in these areas — the arenas where the heavy lifting is done — and he’s been largely successful in that. But now, he’s also going to need to work hard on consensus building through the legislature and home. Pickett joined his freshman class by earning less than 3,000 votes over incumbent Democrat Ray Russell, indicating a divide he will need to bridge.

Like his direct predecessor, Pickett has indicated he will issue a newsletter to keep us informed of Raleigh’s inner workings. That’s a good start, and we hope to find this missive regular and pinpointing a High Country defender championing the needs of the 93rd District.

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(1) comment


Sooooo, where were y'all during Ray's tenure? Y'all did not even publish his newsletters, yet here you are praising Pickett for, thus far, accomplishing nothing. Don't get me wrong, I sincerely hope that Picket does well by the High Country, but y'all are proving yourselves at this point to be completely and utterly beholden to conservatives. What about non-partisan news reporting? Have y'all completely lost touch with your foundational duties as journalists? Or do you just simply not care?

Not that I expect any kind of response... This paper and its journalists have repeatedly proven themselves completely unwilling to actually engage with their readers...

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