|High school||East Forsyth High School (1974)|
|Service/branch||U.S. Air Force|
|Place of birth||North East Winston-Salem|
Henley was born and raised in North East Winston-Salem and graduated from Easy Forsyth High School in Kernersville, NC. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, she holds a B.S. in accounting and a M.S. in taxation and taught taxation at Strayer University in Arlington, VA.
She is retired from the U.S. Department of State's Agency for International Development (USAID), having served for 22 years as an Inspector General Auditor-in-Charge. Henley currently serves as Treasurer of the board of Wintson-Salem Sister Cities. She managed Mayor Pro-Tempore Vivian H. Burke's re-election campaign and former President Clinton's campaign visit to Dakar, Senegal, served on the housing board for the State Department in Dakar, and served as an Inspector General representative on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Handicap Committee.
- East Forsyth High School (1974)
- BS, Accounting, Shaw University
- MS, Taxation, Southeastern University
Henley listed the following "key platform issues" on her campaign website:
- Empowering North Carolina: "The citizens of North Carolina need to know that if their council members fall short of their responsibilities, things will not end there, they will have another recourse which will be to contact me as your Congressional Representative. North Carolina has too many levels of management for it not to work effectively and efficiently. North Carolina's government should work for all of the people of North Carolina."
- Promote Economic Development to Help Create and Keep Jobs: "I will support initiatives that will help keep and bring jobs into North Carolina. I will support legislation that will encourage government to put your tax dollars back into our communities by supporting a Buy Local Ordinance. I will continue to work with government and private industry to encourage and promote economic development and redevelopment."
- Education: "My goal is to make sure that the government's investment of your tax dollars goes towards our future. I strongly oppose initiatives that place the overall school system including teachers' salaries in jeapordy. I will work tirelessly to insure that funding for the schools in all of North Carolina will go to the areas that need it the most. No longer will our most precious human resources (our children) be ignored because of political preferences. Proper oversight into funding for the system of education should remain in place until we start to see some positive results at a 360 degree perspective. I will review the strategic plan for the North Carolina School System to make sure that funding from the education lottery has reached the North Carolina School System."
- Veteran's Rights & Benefits: "I am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. I strongly believe that our veterans should and must be properly taken care of after returning to civilian life. We must know and understand and properly implement the Veteran's Readjustment Act (VRA), as it pertains to the rights and privileges that should be given to our veterans. There is no place in America for disparate treatment of our veterans who have made major sacrifices in support of our safety and freedom. No veteran should have to fight for their right to readjust both mentally and physically to civilian life. The funding is available to our veterans in most cases. They should not have to fight to get compensation or support especially when the administrative laws and their medical conditions have been clearly identified. We need to do some immediate work in this area, and I will work towards all efforts to support our veterans, socially and financially."
- Healthcare: "It is my goal during these economically uncertain times, to assure that no families, retirees, senior citizens, and those working or unable to work will have to choose whether to buy food or medication. This concept is directly linked to economic development as it relates to job creation and the implementation of the Buy Local Act."
- Physically and Mentally Challenged: "The physically and mentally challenged should be an area in which we always insure that funding remains available to meet and address the needs of our citizens especially as it relates to the adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act. We must know and understand the proper implementation of this act especially at the state level. Proper oversight needs to be in place to insure that any actions inconsistent with this act are corrected both ethically and efficiently."
- Gang Awareness and Eradication: "We are all affected by the introduction of drugs and gangs in our neighborhoods. Our children are the most vulnerable in the sense that they are exposed to both drugs and gangs on a daily basis. Parents need to know this and believe it. We must act quickly to devise a plan of attack to at least gain control of the school environment where our children spend the most time during the day. Principals, teachers, and parents need to have one consistent message for the students, the drug dealers, and the gang members. They need to communicate this message on a daily basis if needed. The schools need a contact person in addition to law enforcement in case the problem is larger than the solution or the stated message. This concept goes back to adequately funding the programs and schools that need it the most."
- Homelessness: "I support initiatives that promote economic development in North Carolina. I have worked and lived in countries affected by wars, poverty, famine, and disease. I have more than 22 years experience in the executive branch of government with an established and proven record of providing leadership, coordination and in recommending policies that promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness."
On her campaign website, Henley outlined her commitment to voters and key platform issues.
As your Governor, I do not want to increase government intervention or support new bills to increase government spending. I will take a look at and review legislation already in place, especially as it relates to the Constitution, and make sure that the necessary controls are in place which act to implement the law. I will assure that follow-up reviews are conducted with adequate oversight for legislation passed. I believe that in most cases we already have laws that could foster good governance but what we have in place must be interpreted properly and consistently implemented. I will find creative ways to decrease spending and help the economy. We must know that the rule of law and good governance is intended for all the people and not just for a select few. I will apply this truth across the board as it applies to economic development which includes creating jobs, health care, education, veterans rights and benefits to name a few. Also, I will insure that laws are properly enforced.To further discuss your tax dollars, I will fight with a strong arm to make sure that government funding will go where it is needed the most. I am especially interested in initiating a Buy Local Act. I will use some of the same concepts of the Buy American Act to promote economic development directly in our community by pushing first for local and state government to put our tax dollars into community businesses, and by promoting initiatives where larger entities that are funded with our tax dollars are also subjected to the same requirements but at the local level.
Henley ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent North Carolina's 5th District. No candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 6, 2014, primary election. A runoff primary election was held between the top two candidates Henley lost to Josh Brannon in the runoff primary on July 15, 2014.
|U.S. House, North Carolina District 5 Democratic Primary, 2014|
|Source: Results via the North Carolina State Board of Elections|
|U.S. House, North Carolina District 5 Runoff Democratic Primary, 2014|
|Source: 99% reporting, Results via Associated Press Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.|
Henley ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of North Carolina. She lost to Walter Dalton in the May 8th primary election. Bill Faison, Bob Etheridge, Gary M. Dunn and Bruce Blackmon also ran.
Henley is a member of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Women's Fund of Winston-Salem and the Northeast Suburban Area Citizens' Advisory Committee. She is a notary public in North Carolina, fluent in French, and is a certified user of American Sign Language.
- United States House of Representatives
- North Carolina's 5th Congressional District elections, 2014
- North Carolina's 5th Congressional District
- Campaign website, "Home," accessed March 5, 2014
- Associated Press, "2014 primary results," accessed May 6, 2014
- Associated Press, "2014 runoff primary results," accessed July 15, 2014
- North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Primary election, May 8, 2012, Unofficial results," accessed May 9, 2012
- The People's Candidate, "Gardenia M. Henley: Bio," accessed February 22, 2012
- Campaign website, "Platform," accessed March 5, 2014