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GOP candidate Venus de la Cruz wants to lose the primary

Will support three other Republican candidates


Republican Cumberland County Commissioner Dist. 2 candidate Venus de la Cruz will not campaign in the GOP primary, she said on Tuesday, and instead will support three other Republican candidates in the eight-person race.

Dist. 2 has three seats. In the March 5 Republican primary, the three candidates with the most votes will advance to the November general election to face three Democratic candidates.

“I’m really not trying to win, I’m really not trying to win,” de la Cruz said. “There’s plenty of good men out there that can do the job.”

The other Republican candidates are Ron Ross, Jeremy Stanley, Peter Pappas, V. Lee Spruill III, Jonathan C. Strange, Pavan D. Patel and Henry Tyson.

Venus de la Cruz is the wife of Freddie de la Cruz, who ran for mayor in 2022 and 2023, and who now is the Republican candidate for state House Dist. 44.

She said she wants to use her time and effort to support her husband’s campaign.

Venus de la Cruz said Freddie persuaded her to file for the county commission election, but she immediately had doubts the campaign would be right for her.

“And I told him, I said, ‘I’m going to pray about this.’” She wanted clarity from God, she said, because “I feel like we may have gone ahead of the Lord on this.”

She said she told her husband, “If the Lord clearly shows — shows me, shows you, shows us — that this is not the direction that he wants me to go, then I’m going to pull out of the campaign. I’m not going to campaign.

“And so, within hours, there was a clear revelation … to pull out of the campaign,” she said.

Candidates who want to withdraw from an election must do so before the third business day ahead of the filing period deadline, state law says. It’s now too late for de la Cruz to drop out, and her name will be on the ballots for the March primary.

De la Cruz plans to support three of the remaining seven GOP candidates, but hasn’t decided which ones, she said.

“I like Henry Tyson, I like [Jonathan C.] Strange, I like Ron Ross,” she said, but she hasn’t met all of the candidates yet and wants to get to know them all before making endorsements.

There is a chance for de la Cruz to win one of the three seats in the GOP primary despite not campaigning.

Should that happen, she said, she would actively pursue a seat in the general election for the GOP voters that supported her.

“If the people want me, then that’s clear to me that I need to put everything into it,” de la Cruz said. “So if the people want me, then I’m going to do whatever I have to do.

“The Bible says, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ If that’s what He gives me, then I’ll do it. But He’s gonna have to give it to me. I’m not gonna pursue it. I’m not trying to pursue it. I really am not.”

Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and pwoolverton@cityviewnc.com.

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elections, 2024, county commissioners, cumberland county, venus de la cruz, republicans, gop