Historic moment for Jamestown
Martha Wolfe’s most vivid memory of Pat McCrory relates to a gesture he made during one of her most melancholy moments as a teenager.
Nearly 40 years ago, Wolfe was running to succeed McCrory as student body president at Ragsdale High School. McCrory was on track to graduate as a senior in 1974, while Wolfe was a junior anticipating her last year in high school.
Wolfe campaigned fervently for student body president, but narrowly lost the race. She didn’t know McCrory that well. But as she was coping with her disappointment of losing that day, McCrory sought her out to offer solace.
“I was walking down the hall that afternoon and he was walking up the other side of the hall,” Wolfe told The High Point Enterprise. “He congratulated me on running a good campaign. It made me feel good about myself. That showed a caring side, of being aware of people and their feelings. It was a nice thing to do.”
On Saturday, Wolfe and other residents of the town sandwiched between High Point and Greensboro will watch as McCrory takes the oath of office as governor in Raleigh. McCrory becomes the first North Carolina governor who grew up in the town of 3,356 residents. He moved with his family from Ohio to Jamestown when McCrory was a boy,
McCrory, the Republican Party nominee who won the governor’s race on Nov. 6 after coming up short in 2008, regularly refers to his Jamestown and Guilford County roots.
He kicked off his 2012 campaign for governor this past spring at a social club in the Sedgefield community between Greensboro and Jamestown. Five years ago, he launched his first gubernatorial campaign from the steps of the Jamestown Library, which once was Jamestown Elementary School where McCrory attended classes as a child. His elementary school classmates gave him the nickname “Yank” because of his northern accent.
Wolfe, like other residents of the town, said she’s not surprised that McCrory has become the state’s top elected official. Even as a teenager at Ragsdale High School, McCrory showed a maturity and interest in public service, Wolfe said.
“He was always in student government, well-liked and a good public speaker. The steps he took back then were grooming him for something bigger,” said Wolfe, who now serves as Jamestown town clerk.
Jamestown Mayor Keith Volz plans to travel to Raleigh for the inauguration ceremony, along with other local people who know McCrory.
“We’re proud someone from Jamestown is going to represent us in that office. He grew up in a small-town atmosphere,” Volz said.
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