After a twelve-hour work day, most people would probably head home and crash in front of the TV. But Michael Careccia puts on a tie and heads to Caldwell County Democratic Party headquarters, where he serves as third vice chair and volunteer coordinator. Here, he is also preparing for his 2018 campaign for Caldwell County’s board of commissioners.

Dakota Littlefield, Careccia’s campaign organizer, said that this passion is what defines Careccia best, both professionally and personally.

“He’s always ready to go,” Littlefield said. “There isn’t a time when I’ve had to wait. That’s something that I really admire. There’s a lot of people that you have to wait on. But, you know, he’s dressed, ready to go, ready to go talk to people, ready to do what needs to be done today.”

Jackie Ferguson, first vice chair of CCDP, said that she noticed Careccia’s ardent desire to make a change when they began to work together in the party. She was one of the first to suggest that he run for county commissioner.

“When you get someone and they have fire, then it takes a lot to put out that fire.”

“So, you know we’re going to keep throwing kindling on it, keep him pumped up,” Ferguson said.

Careccia, an electrician by trade, is originally from Florida but moved to Caldwell County around six years ago. A self-proclaimed history buff, he was interested in politics in high school but was not politically active until 2015, during the beginning of the Democratic primaries.

He became involved in Bernie Sanders’ campaign and worked with the phone banks, calling voters all across the country. “I felt that there was finally enough momentum behind a movement that I could jump on board and actually do stuff to get issues and concerns that I had through,” he said.

From there he became involved in CCDP, putting together weekly phone banks and helping with canvassing. Now, as he begins his own campaign, Careccia said that his main focus is listening to the people of the county, asking what their concerns are and what they want from their local government.

Some of the topics that people bring up to Careccia include the recent county-wide opioid crisis, healthcare, raising minimum wage, and education. Careccia said that he plans to focus on these issues in his campaign, as well as informing and engaging citizens in their local government.

If he wins a seat he wants to work closely with the school board to address education issues; fight for clean energy; and examine county budgets to ensure that the board of commissioners is utilizing all available resources. Careccia also wants to enforce the value of transparency between the board and citizens.

“The biggest thing is listening,” he said. “We dubbed this our year of listening. We want to reconnect with Democrats that don’t feel that they’ve been connected with. We want to hear from everyone, we have 14,000 of them in this county, and we want to hear what their concerns are nationally, locally, statewide.”

Editor’s note:  This profile was written October 18, 2017.

To learn more about Michael Careccia and his campaign for County Commissioner, visit his Facebook page, Michael D. Careccia for County Commissioner (https://www.facebook.com/careccia4caldwell/).