Post Election Reflection – Caroline Horne

Coming into my assignment working for the Durham VOICE through my class at UNC, I was basically blind. I had never lived in Durham, known anyone from Durham or even read any news about Durham. To say I felt underqualified to fairly and competently cover stories regarding important and weighty topics was an understatement. The political climate was a completely new world of which I had no understanding or preconceived notions. In covering stories about the municipal election, particularly Nate Baker’s campaign, I came to realize that Durham politics are not just based on policies and budgets, but about overlapping and conflicting community voices and needs. There is no one candidate that will cover all these needs, and no one single community interest that overrides another. I have come to respect the integrity of all candidates and winners who are brave enough to take on an interest and become the voice for a group they feel is in need of attention. In interviewing sources such as Cassandra Stokes, political chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, I have realized that the only way to successfully cover as many groups as possible is to select candidates that are as diverse and different from one another as you can find, even if they may have differing ideas.