Issues

Issues

Taking common sense, North Carolina values to Raleigh…

Raleigh can use a big helping of common sense values…values I learned growing up in a small North Carolina mountain town, working my way through college, building successful local businesses and raising a young family with my wife. Those are the values I will take to Raleigh…that we need to work together to end the dysfunction and find solutions to the challenges facing North Carolina families.

Building our future through education…

Education unlocked the doors of opportunity for me and every child in North Carolina should have the same opportunity I did. Our state is home to great educational institutions but too many local schools are underfunded and under-equipped, teachers are often forced to use their own money for supplies, and politicians in Raleigh are playing political games with our higher education system. I believe we must do more for education, not less, by supporting local schools, making college more affordable, and providing greater access to the job training needed for the high-tech, high-paying jobs of a changing economy.

Right now, our per-pupil spending is ranked 39th, more than $2,300 behind the national average, and $600 below what we were spending before the Great Recession. This funding pays for everything from textbooks to supplies. By not providing sufficient funding, the legislature in Raleigh is failing our students.

The legislature is also failing to show our teachers the respect they deserve. We rank 39th in the country for teacher pay and we’re losing great teachers to other higher paying states. When I was in first grade I had trouble reading, but my first-grade teacher worked with me and by the end of second grade I was up to speed. Teachers like this can make a huge difference in the lives of their students and we need to make sure they’re staying in North Carolina schools.

When I’m elected, I’ll fight to bring our per-pupil funding and teacher pay to the national average.

An economy that benefits everyone…

North Carolina has been rated one of the top states for businesses, but that doesn’t always mean a better way of life for employees on an hourly wage, families struggling to get by or small towns watching businesses leave. My father was laid off when his factory shipped his job overseas and my family lost our home, so I know how difficult it can be for working families across North Carolina. We need to develop more good paying jobs in every community so other families don’t have to go through the same struggles mine did. In Raleigh, I’ll support policies that help small businesses succeed, encourage companies to keep jobs here, and help entrepreneurs create new jobs just as I have done with my businesses.

Ending partisan gerrymandering…

We must end partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina and move to independent, non-partisan redistricting. Gerrymandering gives more power to the ideological extremes and makes it almost impossible to hold elected officials accountable. In the state Senate, I will work to create an independent, non-partisan redistricting system for use after the 2020 census, because voters are supposed to choose their representatives, not the other way around.

Quality, affordable healthcare that leaves no one behind…

Having worked in the healthcare industry and helped build a successful company that worked with pharmaceutical companies and doctors, I believe we can and should do more to lower costs. The first step in this is to expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Expanding Medicaid would expand health care to at least 400,000 North Carolinians, could create up to 40,000 new jobs, and is simply the right thing to do. I will work to ensure that every person in North Carolina has access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Putting you back in charge of your General Assembly…

For too many years lawmakers in Raleigh have shown that they don’t care what the people think. They refuse to broadcast committee meetings online so the people they work for can know what they’re doing. They release agendas and bills with less than 24 hours notice and force legislators to vote before they or their constituents have had a chance to learn what is actually in the bill.

I’ll push to make the General Assembly more open and accessible to you, because that’s who we’re supposed to work for.