FOREST CITY — On Friday, Greg Gallagher officially announced his campaign for NC House 112 representative at Rutherford County Democratic Party Headquarters in Forest City, NC. A social studies teacher at C.H.A.S.E. High, Gallagher strongly supports teachers and students.
“Everyone reaches a limit of what they will endure in this world and February 14th was such a moment for me. Watching the news of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and hearing the anguished cries of parents, students, and teachers, it erased all doubt about running for North Carolina District 112. The voice of a teacher is needed in our General Assembly.”
Greg Gallagher was born and raised in the suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois, which is some 25 miles north of Chicago. The Gallagher family was well connected in politics enjoying friendships with State Senator John O’Connor, Cook County and Chairman George Dunne, who was third most powerful politician in Illinois. At an early age, Greg spent many nights over the years waiting at O’Hare Airport for his father, who was working on energy policy with the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan Administrations.
The family moved to Washington, D.C. where Greg spent his high school years at St. Andrews School in Middletown, Delaware. The school became famous because the film, “Dead Poets Society” was filmed there. The east coast and boarding school saw Greg longing to return to his hometown in the Midwest.
He entered Lake Forest College and received a Bachelor’s degree in political science. His studies continued at the University of Sydney, where he was granted an Master’s degree in History. The years in Australia helped inspire Greg’s interest in travel. Traveling allowed him to experience different lifestyles and cultures. In time, he would visit 36 nations around the world.
Eventually, the family moved to Asheville, North Carolina and became acquainted with the Clarke family of Fairview. During the 1980s, Mr. Clarke, a Democrat, became the Congressman of the 11th Congressional District. Upon Greg’s return to the United States, Congressman Clarke offered a position in his Washington office to Greg, and he happily accepted the job.
After a brief time in Congressman Clarke’s office, Greg was offered a job with the Congressional Doorkeeper’s office. The position allowed him to work on the floor of the House of Representatives. It gave him a rare look at the political world up close and personal. He meet such political luminaries as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Cheney, Vaclav Havel, Bernie Sanders, Nelson Mandela and President George H.W. Bush.
A job offer in publishing returned Greg to Asheville, North Carolina. Although Greg was still interested in politics, the brand practiced in Asheville was extreme on both the right and left.
The publishing industry suffered greatly in the late 2000s. Many extreme economic difficulties forced Mr. Gallagher out of publishing and like a great deal of his generation had to reinvent themselves. Greg chose to be a teacher and as a middle aged man, he re-entered university life. He got an M.A. in education from Western Carolina University.
Time brought Greg to C.H.A.S.E. High School in Forest City, North Carolina, and his years there have taught him about the difficulties facing educators. Numerous problems need to be addressed by the General Assembly. Unfortunately, they continue to hold school spending at 2008 levels with an increase of 100,000 more students since 2008. The undermining and underfunding of public education has been the consistent policy of the North Carolina Republican party.
What will be the main issue of the campaign? It is very straight forward.
As to the issues our county faces, Gallagher stated, “According to our worthy opponents, we are seeing an economic boom in North Carolina. It is time to invest in our future. Improve teachers, administrators, custodians, coaches, support staff, teacher assistants, and bus drivers’ pay and fix debilitated schools; reduce class size by hiring more teachers; address the issue of school safety with rational solutions. We need to address these issues, and empty promises will no longer be accepted by the people of North Carolina.”