Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley on Tuesday launched a parent-focused campaign initiative in Winston-Salem that aims to draw a distinction between her stances on childhood healthcare issues and those of her Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.
The event in Leinbach Park near Jefferson Middle School draw 20 supporters, which she said aligned with her statewide strategy that no public event is too small.
“Parents across North Carolina are struggling — from the outrageous cost of child care to the infant formula shortage,” Beasley said.
“As a mom of twin sons, I know nothing is more important than ensuring our children are safe and healthy.
“As senator, I will always fight for policies that support children and families, including making the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent, expanding access to affordable childcare, and implementing a national paid family leave policy.”
Beasley said she can relate to the issues facing the parents at the event because she and her husband struggled with medical bills when their sons were infants and required several surgeries.
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“My husband and I spent a lot of time haggling with insurance companies on the phone when we really wanted to be spending time comforting our babies,” Beasley said.
Beasley called out Budd for voting no on May 18 — along with the entire N.C. GOP congressional delegation — on the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act. The act, which cleared Congress, provides emergency funding to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States.
Beasley said that “when something threatens our children’s health, it really does jeopardize the constitution of our families. Every family ought to have exactly what they need in order to thrive.”
“Ted Budd, and Republicans in Congress, have shown once again they will not put North Carolina families first and pass legislation that will make a difference for these families,” Beasley said. “Ted Budd will put special interests first.”
On education, Beasley said that classrooms “should be opportunities for all our children regardless of where people live. One Zip code should not at all have a bearing on the kind of education that’s available to our children.”
When asked about the “critical race theory” flashpoint with K-12 education, Beasley said that “parents have the right to really be engaged with their children’s education.”
“We also want to make sure we are telling an accurate historical perspective of our nation and our world.
“As we are traveling across the state and listening to concerns and what they want to see in the next U.S. senator, people are concerned about the issues, and not concerned about petty partisan politics,” Beasley said.
Jonathan Felts, senior advisor for the Ted Budd for U.S. Senate campaign, said in response to Beasley’s event that “when North Carolina parents vote in November, they’ll be thinking about the extra $5,200 coming out of their family budgets due to policies supported by Biden and Beasley forcing record-setting inflation on the working families of N.C.”
“Or, they’ll be thinking about how Cheri Beasley sent her kids to private schools, but she’s opposed to education choice for other parents because the education unions now control her.
Walter Bowers Jr., a father of 6-year-old triplet boys, said he drove from Charlotte for the launch because he believes the U.S. Senate campaign “is about more than just addressing issues for today.”
Bowers focused on the high cost of child care, which he said is taking most of his wife’s weekly salary.
“It’s about fighting for a future for our children, and our children’s children.”
Deborah Napper, the mother of four children from Greensboro, said Budd’s decision to vote no on the infant formula bill resonated with her and her husband, Will.
When parents are forced to thin down their infant formula due to the shortage, “our children cannot survive this kind of politics, this kind of mentality” where she said opposition came in large part because it was a Democratic initiative.
PHOTOS: U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley launches ‘Parents for Beasley’