In the News
Helen Probst Mills Running for State Senate as a First-Time Candidate
ROCKINGHAM- Helen Probst Mills, a first time candidate, is running for the State Senate seat currently held by Tom McInnis. In her opening remarks she said, “I’m running because, as Wayne Goodwin said, 'We’ve had enough!'”
She spoke of the alleged gerrymandering of those in power in Raleigh and noted, “Things that are happening in Raleigh are too destructive to our state; they are not reflective of the population of the state and I just decided that enough is enough.”
According to Mills, she can relate to people’s struggles. She was brought up by a single mother who had little money. She was raised in an apartment and said, “I remember toward the end of the week, when the money would run out, opening the refrigerator and really just seeing condiments; there wasn’t any food.”
Mills noted, “I can’t remember not working,” starting with babysitting at a young age and then working other part-time jobs as she went to high school and college. She went to work prior to going to law school to raise the money she needed to go to school. Mills noted that she is a lawyer by training but is not currently practicing. “I’m an over-committed volunteer,” said Mills.
She said she is very involved in her community of Pinehurst. Mills is a trustee on the board for Sandhills Community College and she also sits on the board of an economic development organization.
While District 25 is made up of Richmond, Scotland, Anson, and Moore Counties, Mills noted that Moore County is primarily Republican and therefore winning the other counties is very important.
This article is part of a series highlighting speakers from the recent local Democratic Party Convention and the Richmond Observer will continue to feature stories on the speeches given by candidates at that event.
Moore County Democrat Helen Mills to challenge Richmond’s Tom McInnis for NC Senate seat
PINEHURST — A self-described “overly committed volunteer” from Moore County is challenging Tom McInnis for his seat in the North Carolina Senate.
Helen Probst Mills, a Democrat, announced her candidacy Thursday for the District 25 seat.
Mills grew up a daughter to a single mother and is, herself, a mother of three and cancer survivor who moved to North Carolina with her husband, Stuart, in 2006. She is also licensed to practice law in Illinois.
Last year, Mills was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees. She also serves on the college’s Foundation Board, where she helped develop a program allowing high school graduates to attend for two years without having to pay tuition.
Mills also serves as development chair fo the Northern Moore Family Resource Center in Robbins, which has opened preschool and is developing a community center, according to a press release.
Asked why she decided to run for office, Mills said there were “a variety of reasons,” including her disagreement with the decisions being made in Raleigh.
Education and health care are at the top of her issues list.
Four candidates for the North Carolina Senate kick off their campaigns today. They are all Democrats challenging Republican incumbents and they are all white women, none of whom have ever held elected office.
Three of the four races will take place in districts where Republicans are seen as having comfortable advantages. The other is for a Senate district in northern Mecklenburg County that is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races this fall.
Among the candidates is Natasha Marcus, who plans to run in a suburban Mecklenburg County district where Jeff Tarte has served since 2013. Democrats believe this district is in play, as voters there went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while also electing Tarte at the state level.
“The policies that touch our lives most closely often come from the state level,” Marcus said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Federal politics is important, but what happens at the General Assembly in Raleigh – from public school funding, to healthcare, to whether we’re going to have to pay tolls here in the North Mecklenburg area is also important."
Marcus made an unsuccessful bid for the state House in 2014 when Republican John Bradford III defeated her 55 to 45 percent. Meanwhile, Tarte won by a 21 percent margin in his last non-presidential election.
Elsewhere, Eleanor Erickson will try to upset four-term incumbent Bill Rabon in Senate District 8. The district includes parts of New Hanover, Brunwsick and Pender and Bladen Counties in southeastern North Carolina.
Democrat Announces Run for State Senate
Pinehurst resident Helen Probst Mills announced Thursday that she is running for state Senate in the newly drawn 25th District.
A community leader, mother of three, lawyer and cancer survivor, Mills said in a news release from the N.C. Senate Democratic Caucus that she was taught the value of a good education from an early age. She said she is fighting for public education, early childhood education and access to health care for all.
“Ever since I was a child, my mother instilled in me the importance of a good education and helping others,” Mills said. “I received a good education from public schools and I want the same –— early childhood pre-K3, strong public schools, affordable college and vocational education and good jobs — for everyone across North Carolina. Politicians today continue to underfund our schools and force our teachers to do more with far less.”
Mills, raised by a single mother, said she is also fighting for better access to health care.
Years ago, a routine mammogram discovered an aggressive breast cancer, which she beat and fully recovered from after two lumpectomies, a mastectomy and chemotherapy.
Her early diagnosis and care were only possible because of her health insurance, the news release said. She said her decision to run for office came in part from the realization that many don’t have access to the same, good health care she had because of the legislature’s unwillingness to expand Medicaid.