Jerry Benton is seeking a seat on the Brunswick County Board of Education. It’s his second run at elected office; two years ago, he challenged then-Representative Susi Hamilton for her state House seat. However, this disabled veteran says the galvanizing issue for him remains the same: education.
Jerry Benton is in a crowded primary field relative to other races. But voters should choose him, he says, because he’s determined to create a trade school.
"We graduate 86% of our kids; 52% are proficient. We have a 40% drop-out rate in their first year in college for those who go. And, really, we have no careers in our county that require college degrees. So this is a great way for us to bring in a trade school, give the kids a skill so they can stay home, and change the vision of success – because success is self-sufficiency. "
Benton says he also would like to increase the teacher pay supplement, give teachers more opportunities for continuing education, and create a bonus system for high-performers.
After joining the Army National Guard in 1998, Benton went on to serve at Ground Zero in New York City, various nuclear plants, and in Operation Enduring Freedom – where he was injured in 2007.
To listen to the extended interview, see below: