Petition signatures lift Booth into county race

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 05:46 PM

Kittrell native Arnold Booth Jr. is running for Vance County register of deeds this fall against incumbent Carolyn Pecora.

“I want to bring awareness to what is going on with local government,” he said. “A lot of folks are looking at the federal government, but we need to look locally because it affects us here daily.”

Booth gained enough petition signatures this summer to add his name to the ballot. He’s one of two candidates to enter the race in such manner, with Brian Hobgood the other in the race for sheriff.

Booth operates Platinum Cuts 4, a barbershop on South Beckford Drive in Henderson. He worked at Platinum Cuts 3 in Durham and then, in March 2009, he decided to open his own shop in Vance County.

“I started out with Platinum 1 and helped out with Platinum 2, and from Platinum 2, we opened Platinum 3,” he said. “Business started doing really good for the profession so I thought, why don’t I come here to my community and give back?”

He ran for a seat on the Henderson City Council last year against Mike Inscoe but lost.

He said the register of deeds position — which handles marriage licenses, death certificates, land transactions and certain public records — would allow him to reach out into the community.

“I’m in the barbershop seven days a week now, so I don’t really have time to get out in the street or in youth programs because I’m trying to work,” he said. “If I get elected, I’ll have time in the afternoon to get to programs like the Boys & Girls Club or the recreation department to try to help the kids. I’ll have time to get out into the community in the afternoon because that’s when our youth need help. In the afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m., that’s a bad time for kids who don’t have guidance.”

If elected, Booth said he would encourage people to access public records available through the office of the register of deeds.

“I want people to know the office is there for the community,” he said. “Everyone can come in, not just a select few.”

He said people should vote for him because he has a strong record of giving back to his community.

“I don’t mind giving back, and I don’t mind sacrificing a dollar to help somebody else,” Booth said. “I’ve always done free back-to-school haircuts for the kids where we feed them too, and have free school supplies. If I’m doing all that by just being a barber, just imagine what I could do if I’m elected. I could do a whole lot more if elected.”

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.