Local News

Helms Campaigns in National Spotlight

Posted October 15, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Jesse Helms is not resting on incumbent laurels. Instead, he is campaigning statewide to retain his 20-plus-year-old hold on the Senate seat Harvey Gantt would like to take away.

Helms supporter Franklin Spence and his son, William, say they've stood by Helms every six years, and that they can't imagine having anyone else represent them in the U.S. Senate.

Helms has a reputation among his supporters for stating his position clearly and sticking to it. And Helms proudly points to his consistency.

Helms supporter Deloris Sager describes Helms as a watchdog over her tax dollars.

In what is one of the most closely-watched U.S. Senate races in the country, swarms of national and local media follow and meet the candidate at every stop. Helms says he doesn't think the press always has his best interests at heart.

People like the Spences and the Sagers like Helms' humor and staying power, and Helms says he's not anwhere near ready to say goodbye to the U.S. Senate yet.