GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — After the sitting labor commissioner removed his photo from elevator inspection certificates across North Carolina, current candidates have stated in no uncertain terms that he would put them back.

Pictures of long-standing former Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry in elevators have long inspired memes across North Carolina and earned her the moniker “elevator lady” or “elevator queen” which spurned a social media handle parody and even a song.

While Dobson has followed Berri’s practice since he was elected in 2020, recently he announced that he was bringing it to an end, saying he felt like it put too much focus on him and not other Department of Labor employees.

On Oct. 31, candidate Luke Farley weighed in on X, saying that he would bring back the photos as a matter of accountability. North Carolina State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) announced on Monday that he would put the pictures back.

“We did it because we wanted people to know there’s an actual person. They could put a face to government. But it kind of grew into a thing,” Dobson said.

Hardister, however, says that the popularity of the practice and the humanizing effect are important for the public.

Over the last couple of weeks I have received numerous requests from voters to reinstate the elevator photos. We have also done surveys on social media, and the response that we received is overwhelming. The vast majority of people want to keep the Labor Commissioner’s photo in elevators. 

One of my first actions in office will be to issue an order reinstating the photo on inspection certificates in elevators across the state. This will show that the Department of Labor is not a faceless entity and signal my commitment to being accessible to our citizens.

Jon Hardister

Despite their disagreement on the photo op situation, Dobson has endorsed Hardister as his successor.

Braxton Winston and Travis Wilson are also vying for the Labor Commissioner seat against Wilson and Hardister and have also been reached for comment.