Local News

Convicted Felon Makes Run For Holly Springs Town Council

Posted November 2, 2005

— Dawn Parker said her ancestors are one of the founding families of Holly Springs, which is growing by more than two families a day.

And with the town recently losing a fight to prevent a landfill from being built less than a mile from her house, Parker decided to run for a seat on the town council.

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"I feel as though the people here before the population explosion are being left out of the equation," she said.

By running for office, Parker said she knew it would bring up a dark part of her past.

"Years ago, I got into trouble," Parker said.

In 1991, Parker was convicted of felony cocaine possession. She blames the conviction on her boyfriend at the time.

When she was arrested three years later for violating probation, Parker decided to turn her life around, she said.

But records show she is now in trouble for not paying property taxes on her house or car for three years.

"I pay a little at a time," she said. "I pay what I can, when I can."

Some Holly Springs voters have said they would not vote for a convicted felon or a candidate who has not paid property taxes.

Yet, that has not stopped the Western Wake Democrats Club from supporting Parker and helping with her campaign.

"Dawn is a real person who has come from an amazing past, who can see a bright future for her community," Jim Martin, of the Western Wake Democrats Club, said.

Parker faces two incumbents -- Hank Dickson and Chet Van Fossen -- and three other candidates -- Jeff Leroy, Vinnie DeBenedetto and Joe Signoretti -- for three opens seats. Besides a traffic violation, no other candidate has a criminal record in North Carolina.

"I'm putting myself on the line because I believe that I'm right," Parker said. "I believe that what I stand for and believe in is the truth and that voters will see that."

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