(WGHP) — When Jeff Jackson left Chapel Hill for college at Emory University in Atlanta, it seemed the world was in a state of relaxation. Then, as he began his sophomore year, 9/11 happened. Jackson says he knew what he had to do: enlist in the Army.
“No recruiter tugged on my shirt. I had to look up where the recruiting station was — it was in a strip mall in Atlanta. It was next to a Subway – so I parked I went into the Subway, I ate a meatball sub, I thought about what I was about to do and then I walked into the recruiting station. I remember it so well,” Jackson said as he recalled his enlistment. “I opened the door, the recruiter pounded the table, stood up and said, ‘We were waiting for you, son!’ And I thought, ‘This is great, I’m already getting special treatment!’”
He’s joking, of course. But he’s very serious about his run for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
For the last seven years, Jackson has represented part of Mecklenburg County in the North Carolina senate. He believes he’s ready for a promotion to the national stage.
“It’s important to win but the real reason I’m running is because I want to raise people’s expectations – the expectations they should have in a senate candidate and in a senator. We only have two U.S. Senators for 10.5 million people. At least one of them should be standing up for people. At least one of them should be on the ball,” he said.
To do that, Jackson is kicking off a run of 100 town hall events in all 100 North Carolina counties. He has events planned in Davidson and Forsyth counties on May 15. Jackson says these events are key to the kind of campaign he wants to run.
“First, we want to make it a full, 100-county campaign. Our state hasn’t seen one of those in a long time,” he said. “Second, we want to hold town halls in every county – give people an opportunity to actually meet the candidate. We don’t do that, anymore. You don’t see that in senate campaigns, the town halls are extinct.”
He’s already done events in several counties and says there is one subject that keeps popping up.
“Just finished going to Alamance, Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Rutherford, Hoke, just in the last few days. Broadband came up in every single one. They’ve heard all these politicians for years give lip service to broadband; the money has never followed it – we’ve never actually funded the effort,” Jackson said.
Here is a list of his scheduled town hall events for the Triad area:
- Davidson County – Saturday, 5/15
- Forsyth County – Saturday, 5/15
- Stokes County – Friday, 5/21
- Rockingham County – Saturday, 5/22
- Davie County – Monday, 5/24
- Randolph County – Thursday, 6/3
- Guilford County – Saturday, 6/12
- Yadkin County – Sunday, 6/13
- Alamance County – Monday, 6/21
- Montgomery County – Sunday, 7/11
- Surry County – Friday, 7/16
- Alleghany County – Friday, 7/16
- Wilkes County – Sunday, 7/18
- Caswell County – Monday, 7/26
Hear more from Jackson in this Buckley Report profile.