Local Politics

Protesters urge Tillis to reject Trump's AG, education secretary picks

Posted January 30

— Protesters marched along the sidewalk outside Sen. Thom Tillis’ downtown Raleigh office Monday evening to add their voices to those who reject President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees.

The cold temperatures wouldn’t stop the few dozen people who marched and chanted in opposition of Trump’s picks for education secretary and Attorney General. Their message wasn’t new, but with major changes on the horizon, their energy was renewed.

“He needs to pick up the phone and listen to all those messages of people who have been calling in for weeks now to tell him to vote no,” said protester Clinton Wright.

Protesters said they want Tillis to say no to Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and say no to the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

In 1986, Sessions was denied the opportunity to serve as a federal judge after allegations of racist comments. He denied the allegations.

As for DeVos, protesters said she will be terrible for public education.

“Public school education is one of the cornerstones of our country and every child deserves to have that public school education and DeVos is terrible for it,” said Marty Long.

Tillis has said recently that he backs Sessions and believes he will follow the rule of the law. Protesters didn’t believe they will get their message through to him on DeVos either, but it won’t stop them from trying.

“I’m just so disgusted with the way things are going,” said protester Lillian Kennedy.

Tillis has voiced support for Sessions and DeVos in the past, but did not offer a direct response to WRAL’s request for a comment on the protest. His office issued the following statement:

"While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully demonstrate, our offices in North Carolina handle one thing: constituent services for North Carolinians. Senator Tillis’ office has assisted thousands of North Carolinians, from helping veterans receive the health care services they deserve, to ensuring seniors receive the benefits they’ve earned. Senator Tillis will continue to prioritize offering outstanding constituent services for North Carolinians as he works across the aisle in the Senate on a wide range of issues, including fixing our broken immigration system, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the quality of life for North Carolina’s service members and military families."

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