Past experiences ‘make me uniquely qualified’

BY BRIAN CARLTON AND CONNOR THOMPSON

The Farmville Herald

Carl Eggleston wanted to tell the crowd a story. The Farmville resident announced his candidacy to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor in a speech given Thursday, June 13 at the Uptown Cafe. And he did so by sharing his experiences through the years.

He talked about being a part of the “Lockout Generation”, kept out of school for years when Prince Edward County supervisors decided they would rather close buildings instead of allow integration. Eggleston said he was in the second grade at Mary E. Branch Elementary when it happened. For the first two years, he just went about playing in the family’s yard. But when his parents saw Prince Edward kept dragging its feet about reopening, they rented a house in nearby Cumberland County so Eggleston and his siblings could get an education.

Later after graduation, Eggleston got a real estate license and tried to work in the area.

“But my problem was that nobody would let me practice in their offices,” Eggleston said, explaining at that point in time, all the real estate firms in the area were white.

PAST HELPS THE PRESENT

Eggleston went on to start a funeral business in 1983, later buying the Oliver Funeral Home in Crewe in 1989, renaming it Oliver and Eggleston Funeral Establishment.

During Thursday’s press conference, he also spoke about his political past, reflecting on his 1983 request for Farmville to adopt a Ward system of choosing council members, to make sure everyone had representation.

After several of Carl’s requests were made were voted down, Carl then filed a lawsuit in U. S. Federal Court. The lawsuit was named” Eggleston v. Crute”. The lawsuit was settled in Carl’s favor. In 1984 Carl ran as a candidate for Ward D and won. Carl U. Eggleston became the first African American to be elected to the Farmville Town Council.

It’s these experiences, Eggleston said, the situations he’s dealt with throughout his life, that makes him “uniquely qualified” to serve as Virginia’s next lieutenant governor.

EGGLESTON GETS SUPPORT

Eggleston has already received several endorsements political figures in Virginia.

“I am delighted and proud to endorse Carl Eggleston for Lieutenant Governor,” said Congressman Don Beyer. Speaking to The Herald, Beyer said Eggleston has been a good friend of his for 40 years.

“I would not have won in 1989 and 1993 without Carl, whose friendship, help, and advice over the years has been invaluable,” Beyer said “ He is a conscientious public servant with the experience, perspective, and leadership qualities we need to take our Commonwealth forward. Carl has overcome many significant hurdles in his life, but has always been a leader. I am confident Carl Eggleston will be a strong, fair, and inspirational Lieutenant Governor.”

Eggleston also received endorsements from former Sen. Henry L. Marsh III and John W. Boyd Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association.

Eggleston enters a race already stacked with candidates. On the Democratic side, there’s Virginia State Sen. Ghuzala F. Hashmi, as well as State Sen. Aaron Rouse, Prince William County School Board Chairman Babu Lateef and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. Originally having declared for the governor’s race, Stoney recently made the decision to switch and run for the lieutenant governor spot instead. As of Monday morning, no Republican candidates had filed for the race.

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