Editorial: Changes. Petitions and Positions
(pictured above: Forsyth County Elections Director Rob Coffman)
A change.org petition has been started to support Forsyth County Elections Director Rob Coffman, whose head has been placed on the chopping block by the newly-anointed neo-conservative majority of the county’s Board of Elections.
No one should be surprised, not even Coffman. Right-wing Boards of Elections across the state have been wreaking havoc since Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s victory last year put them in the driver’s seat.
Forsyth Board of Elections Chair Ken Raymond claims that there is ample cause for Coffman’s dismissal. He points to the director’s handling – or mishandling, rather – of undeliverable voter mailings on the campus of Winston-Salem State University and a recount in the Tobaccoville Council race earlier this year that went so awry that a second recount was needed.
We think what really fired-up Raymond – who would be the result if Allen West and Herman Cain could produce a lovechild – is his contention that Coffman got snippy and disparaged the Civitas Institute, the Raleigh altar at which Raymond and other conservatives go to worship and receive their calls to action.
Coffman is no choirboy. A few years ago, he came under fire for allegedly calling one of his employees a “crack ‘ho.’” He weathered that storm because the Democrat-controlled Board of Elections that hired him seven years ago stood steadfastly by his side.
Coffman may indeed have his issues, but his planned ouster, we believe, has more to do with Raymond and fellow Republican Board Member Stuart Russell making way for a director who will rubber-stamp their plans to diminish minorities’ access to the polls. Coffman’s fate will ultimately be decided by the State Board of Elections, which has recently only stepped on the toes of local boards in the most egregious of cases.
We knew the day would come, but that fact doesn’t diminish our sadness. Coach Connell Maynor is leaving Winston-Salem State University after taking the team to the promised land.
“I will be forever indebted to Winston-Salem State University. They have been great to me and my family for four years,” the coach said Tuesday during an emotional media conference to announce his resignation and move to Division I Hampton.
There was little Ram Pride in these parts four years ago when Maynor arrived. The Mighty Rams were limping, hardly the dominating powerhouse they were in the 1990s. Maynor had the magic touch and wasted no time using it to whip the program into shape. He had four winning seasons and a remarkable 45-6 record.
He leaves WSSU with two CIAA championships and three Division II playoff appearances, including the 2012 Division II National Championship game.
At Tuesday’s farewell event, Maynor deflected attention away from his impressive coaching ability.
“I did not throw one pass or make one tackle or kick any balls. Those players did. They are the ones that are 45-6. I always say if your X’s are bigger than my O’s then you aren’t going to win a lot of games. We had great players here, great academics to offer those guys, and when you put those two together you get the successes that Winston-Salem State has had during my time,” he said.
Hampton needs Maynor – badly. The Pirates were a dismal 4-8 last season and won only half of its eight MEAC conference games. The previous season’s record was an ugly 3-7. With numbers like those, of course the Hampton folks are over the moon about Maynor’s decision to jump ship.
“I am very excited about having a veteran winner at the helm of the Pirate football program,” said Hampton AD Novelle Dickenson. “I believe that Coach Maynor is very well poised and has the acumen to take the program in the right direction. Given his past success, we have great expectations for the future of Pirate football.”
We will miss Maynor, but wish him the best of luck. WSSU AD Bill Hayes, who found and hired Maynor, and Chancellor Donald Reaves will work tirelessly to ensure that the Rams are kept in good hands. The program – which, ultimately, is about more than one man – has come too far to now falter.