I understand the Independent’s conundrum in the Orange County Commissioner race that led to its endorsing four candidates and encouraging voters to pick three. We are lucky to have such an abundance of quality candidates. That said, I encourage Orange County voters to choose the two candidates who would bring the most important new perspectives to the Board—Fred Battle and Mike Nelson.

There are several issues in Orange County that have languished for years without resolution, like equity in school funding and the adoption of a comprehensive plan for growth. Battle and Nelson both have a long record of strong, progressive results that leads me to believe they will be able to provide the leadership to make significant progress on these issues.

Battle and Nelson also stand out in the field as long-time advocates of social justice for citizens in our county. Battle is the chair of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP, while Nelson is the chair of the statewide Equality NC board. They would each bring a great concern to representing county citizens currently underserved by the BOCC.

I certainly don’t have anything against Barry Jacobs or Alice Gordon, both of whom are particularly strong on the environment. I hope voters choose one of them to provide institutional memory on the Board. But Fred Battle and Mike Nelson are the best choices in the primary that will be held on May 2.

Tom Jensen

Chapel Hill