A letter in the Watauga Democrat Oct. 23 (“Democracy not well”) scolded me for weighing in on candidates running for seats on the Boone Town Council.

I appreciate your phone calls of support, but I want everyone to know I harbor no ill will. Fact is, I have been attacked by kings and queens numerous times over the years for having an opinion and having the nerve to post that opinion on my elections site, Pam’s Picks (https://pamspicks.net). Attacks by candidates, by elected officials, even, most recently, by at least one state House GOP member.

I’m sure the same can be said for Loretta Guy Clawson, who is also attacked in the letter, not for her history of progressive, tireless service to the town, but rather merely for being a friend of mine.

The writer claims Virginia Nordman Roseman doesn’t deserve a seat either. His only reason for believing she is running for a seat is because he claims she was recruited by the local party to run. Actually Roseman is just a regular, hardworking good person who has put time and energy into trying to make Boone a better place. If the local party had recruited candidates for Boone Town Council this year, I’m sure she would have been at the top of the list, but she wasn’t because the party didn’t. From the writer’s letter, I can’t tell why he thinks I shouldn’t have given the nod to Justin Hicks for a seat, but suffice it to say he clearly doesn’t like it.

The author welcomes and encourages me, however, to please continue my “objective observations” on state and national candidates. He just doesn’t think I should tell folks what my opinions are on local ones. I sincerely appreciate his support. And I would note that Pam’s Picks always discloses my personal relationships, if any, to candidates. I would respectfully suggest to the writer that he consider the same going forward.

The writer claims my opinions simply represent the leanings of the local Democratic Party. I am proud to be a member of the Watauga County Democratic Party. We have fought hard and long for equal voting rights and access, have trained other counties in organization and strategy, have donated to and participated with local nonprofits, have brought young and old together to move our county and our state forward, and have always stood strong for the progressive values our party advocates. Every. Single. Day. No holidays, no exceptions.

But my decades-old Pam’s Picks is not the local party. It is me alone. Yep, just me. And, in spite of what the writer implies, I have a right to an opinion and the right to advocate for candidates just like the writer of the letter does. I’ll always stand up for that right for myself. And for the writer’s, too.

Pam Williamson

Boone

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