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Rep. James Gailliard stumps for Biden in new campaign commercial

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ROCKY MOUNT — A new campaign ad for Joe Biden featuring one of Nash County’s N.C. House members is airing counter to this week’s Republican National Convention in Charlotte.

Rep. James Gailliard, D-Nash, is featured in the new ad, which premiered Tuesday on Biden’s YouTube channel and will air on television this week. The ad focuses on Gailliard’s role as pastor of Word Tabernacle Church and doesn’t mention his state office. The 30-second video shows Gailliard’s large empty church, which is in the old Home Depot building, and scenes of empty streets in downtown Rocky Mount.

“Our church building is not empty because of a virus,” Gailliard says in the ad. “It is empty because of a leadership vacuum. President Trump has failed.”

Gailliard said he filmed the campaign commercial because he believes what it says.

“I wasn’t reading from a script,” Gailliard said. “They interviewed me and used my words, which were based upon my experience.”

Gailliard pointed out that the United States is 3% of the world’s population and accounts for nearly 25% of coronavirus cases and deaths.

“That’s a leadership issue,” Gailliard said. “The ripple effect is closing businesses, public education and, yes, churches.”

Gailliard has been pastor at Word Tabernacle Church for 15 years. He’s in his first term representing Nash County in the General Assembly. In November’s election, Gailliard is facing Republican opponent John Check, who is also a local pastor.

The Gailliard ad underscores the Trump administration’s failed leadership and lack of support for Black communities, said Giovanni Rocco, regional press secretary for Biden for President.

Titled “Failure,” the Gailliard ad points to President Trump’s botched COVID-19 and public health policies and ineffective approaches to building a stable middle class as reasons for Americans to support Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris and change the nation’s trajectory, Rocco said. 

Two national digital ads geared toward Black voters are also airing on television in North Carolina to demonstrate how Biden’s Build Back Better plans for working families will support small businesses and expand educational opportunities. 

“EcoPower” outlines how Biden’s plan will build a future of wealth and ambition for Black small businesses and “Preschool” notes how a Biden administration will ensure all children have access to free, high-quality preschool programs, Rocco said.

“The ads premiere on local cable, radio and digital channels this week across North Carolina as a direct counter to the Republican National Convention,” Rocco said. “It is part of the Biden for President’s ongoing national paid media program across television, radio and digital, with $26 million in spend(ing) this week.”