Herman Gaskins and courthouse politics in Beaufort County | Eastern North Carolina Now | a saga of almost four decades

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Herman Gaskins' major support of liberal Democrat Corey Rogerson for sheriff, including a massive $5,000 financial contribution, one of Gaskins' largest ever, raises interest in Gaskins' almost four decade long involvement in Beaufort County courthouse politics.  Gaskins is a dogmatic leftwing Democrat.

Gaskins' involvement in courthouse politics began in 1984 when a vacancy for District Court Judge opened up with the retirement of Judge Charles Manning of Martin County in the middle of his term.  The replacement was to be appointed by the governor from recommendations from the district bar association.  Herman Gaskins was one of the key players in an effort to put Regina McMullen, an associate attorney in Gaskins' law office, into that vacancy.

Mrs. McMullan was, by far, the least qualified candidate for the position.  She was not long out of law school and her duties in the Gaskins firm usually did not include her even going to court.  Nonetheless, Gaskins and his allies put heavy pressure on Beaufort County attorneys to support McMullan in the endorsement process and many knuckled under.  Mrs. McMullan only narrowly lost endorsement by the district bar association.  The judge ultimately appointed was the most qualified of those seeking the position, Sam Grimes, whose experience included having served as a JAG officer (military lawyer), assistant district attorney, and partner in a major local law firm.  Grimes had years of courtroom experience.

Gaskins has continued to be active in pushing his judicial candidates when midterm vacancies and appointments come up.  He has had a long time pattern of heavy contributions to Democrat candidates for governor to keep lines of influence open.

Gaskins has also been a key player in electoral politics for courthouse positions.  His first move there was as a central figure in a Democrat primary challenge against incumbent conservative Democrat District Attorney Mitchell Norton in 2002, in which his candidate defeated Norton.  Gaskins was also instrumental in 2006 in defending his new district attorney against a comeback bid by Norton.  Gaskins' involvement in both of those races became an issue both times.

In 2018, Democrat Judge Darrell Cayton, whose previous appointment Gaskins had helped quarterback, was challenged by Republican magistrate-judge Sarah Holmes. Gaskins was the principle leader in Cayton's reelection campaign, and his involvement became an issue in the race.  Cayton won reelection district-wide.  Holmes' position as a magistrate-judge was an appointed position, and when her appointment came up for renewal, she was punished for challenging Cayton by the courthouse Democrats by having her appointment not renewed, just a few months short of qualifying for state retirement.

Gaskins involvement in political campaigns has a number of public hallmarks.  One is financial, with a member of the Gaskins family making a major contribution.  Another common aspect is Gaskins driving around his candidates to introduce them to people around the county.  Another is large signs on Gaskins' properties.  In a race or two, he has even sent his son to drive voters favorable to his candidates, usually from the black community, to the polls.  Of course, those are only the aspects of political involvement that can be seen by the public.

UPDATE:  The NC Republican Party has just mailed a postcard warning voters of the Gaskins connection.


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Comments

Bubba said:
( October 29th, 2022 @ 12:34 pm )
 
Sam Grimes was a very good judge, and was very well qualified for the appointment when he got it. Herman Gaskins pushing a woefully underqualified opponent against him is very much what he is now doing in the sheriff's race. Scott Hammonds has years of experience in the Highway Patrol and the Military Police, and has functioned successfully in a command capacity.

Corey Rogerson was fired from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department and no one seems to want to come clean on the reason. He now works as a rent-a-cop for Vidant. He has twice withdrawn from the Highway Patrol Academy. Rogerson has worked on and off for short stints at the Washington Police Department, and after his firing from the sheriff's department, the Washington PD did not want him back. He seems to have a hard time holding a law enforcement job. But I guess he would follow political orders.

Rogerson's "I cannot be bought" comment at the candidates night was probably an admission he was already bought.
( October 28th, 2022 @ 5:23 pm )
 
Gaskins' politics are bad news, and reason enough NOT to vote for Rogerson, but he is not the only lefty behind Rogerson. So is the New Jail mafia that wants to spend many millions on a totally unnecessary new jail. I think Gaskins may be a part of that, too. Jerry Langley, the godfather of the new jail movement is backing Rogerson, as is Langley's sidekick on the commission, Ed Booth. So is RINO jail advocate and Langley ally Frankie Waters. Electing Rogerson would be an expensive endeavor for Beaufort County taxpayers.
Brandon said:
( October 27th, 2022 @ 2:29 pm )
 
Any candidate for political office who becomes a puppet of the ultimate liberal ring leader in Beaufort County, Herman Gaskins, will never get my vote nor anyone I know. We all know Herman will own the boy and demand allegiance to his extreme left causes and his wants and desires. One cannot fool themselves about that fact. And to Rogerson my mama always told me son if you lay down with dogs you will get fleas. And thats what you have done joining the ranks of the woke, left, socialists, anit-American Democrat Party and the platform that they and you represent.
Brandon said:
( October 27th, 2022 @ 2:31 pm )
 
Any candidate for political office who becomes a puppet of the ultimate liberal ring leader in Beaufort County, Herman Gaskins, will never get my vote nor anyone I know. We all know Herman will own the boy and demand allegiance to his extreme left causes and his wants and desires. One cannot fool themselves about that fact. And to Rogerson my mama always told me son if you lay down with dogs you will get fleas. And thats what you have done joining the ranks of the woke, left, socialists, anit-American Democrat Party and the platform that they and you represent.
( October 27th, 2022 @ 10:02 am )
 
It looks like Gaskins cares nothing about qualifications of his candidates.



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