At-large seat, Democrat

Simply put, four-term county Commissioner Barry Jacobs is a proven progressive leader best suited for the at-large post on the Orange County Board of Commissioners. To be sure, the board with Jacobs has had its failures. Failing to craft a clear plan for waste disposal and recompense for landfill-saddled Rogers Road residents comes to mind.

But Jacobs, a resident for four decades, has been an advocate for social justice, public transportation, and perhaps most important, public education. His commitment to funding local schools is unquestioned, enough so to cost him popularity with vehement anti-tax residents.

His opponent, Hillsborough resident Bonnie Hauser, offers a fresh perspective. She’s a voice for the county’s often-forgotten rural denizens, but her promises to find the cash needed for schools through unspecified reallocations elsewhere are alarming. At a time when state lawmakers’ choices have wrought disastrous funding shortfalls for public schools, we can little afford lukewarm fiscal backing from our local leaders. We’re picking Jacobs.

District 2, Democrat

At times, incumbent Commissioner Earl McKee can get lost among the outspoken personalities of the Orange Board of Commissioners. Depending on your point of view, that can be a good or bad thing. We tend to side with the latter. McKee’s philosophies align with Orange County’s progressive ideals well enough, but his opponent, local green builder Mark Marcoplos, is simply too promising to pass up.

Marcoplos is a staunch advocate for bolstered public school funding and real solutions to Orange County’s myriad trash disposal headaches. We believe he will offer a clear, strong voice on the issues. With state lawmakers in Raleigh so keen on slashing local government powers and school coffers, now, more than ever, Orange County needs such voices. Make Marcoplos your pick.