The following are answers to rrspin.com questions for the state House 27 seat:
Attended Barton College
Farmer, small business owner, state representative since 2005.
Former member of Rotary International, Gaston Lions Club, and Northeastern Action Wildlife Club
Wife Kay, a public-school teacher, and two adult sons. Attend Victory Baptist Church.
State Employees Association of NC (EMPAC), NC AFL-CIO, NC Chamber of Commerce/Jobs Champion, Northampton County Citizens United, Warren County PAC, NC Association of Educators (NCAE)
Why are you seeking this office and what makes you qualified if elected?
I am running for re-election to continue to fight for the issues that are important to rural North Carolina: Good schools, good jobs, and access to affordable healthcare.
Do you identify as a conservative, liberal or moderate?
What is your first priority if elected to office?
Economic Development and working to bring good jobs to our area
Expanding access to affordable healthcare
Improving our public schools and community college
What needs to be done to improve mental health services across the state and particularly in your district?
We have to make mental healthcare as much a priority as we do physical healthcare and provide the funding required for folks to have access to quality care.
We also need to incentivize mental health professionals locating in rural areas by offering, as an example, college loan forgiveness for serving in rural areas for a certain number of years.
Would you vote to support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes? Please explain why or why not.
Yes. There is mounting evidence that this form of treatment works well and should be an option under medical care for those suffering from cancer and other painful illnesses.
Would you vote to support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes? Please explain why or why not.
Not at this time. We should first start with medical marijuana and get that process right before any consideration of legalizing recreational marijuana.
Would you support reverting Halifax County back to a single judicial and prosecutorial district? Is this a possibility?
Yes. Our judicial system needs to be closer to the people and giving Halifax County its own district attorney and judges is for the better. I hope to work on this issue in the long session next year.
How would you ensure that the counties in your district get the same economic development opportunities which occur in larger counties in our state?
Jobs and economic development go where there is good infrastructure and a skilled and educated workforce.
I will continue to fight to build up our area to support these efforts.
In addition, each local governmental entity (towns, counties, etc.) have their own set of legislative priorities.
I will continue to advocate for those priorities and use the relationships I have with my legislative colleagues to help them understand why these priorities are so important.
What do you identify as the biggest needs in your district?
Good jobs that pay good wages and strong schools and community college.
Who has been your biggest influence in your career?
Marc Basnight, former Senate President Pro-Tem, made a huge difference in eastern/rural North Carolina and was a visionary who I admire and try to emulate.
Please provide a brief summation of how you envision your district under your leadership
I have worked tirelessly to represent the people of my district.
As a farmer and small business owner, I know about hard work and have a deep understanding and appreciation for the people of Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties.
I spend a lot of time on the road meeting with my constituents and have always had an open-door policy.
I will continue to wake up every day to work for my neighbors who have entrusted me for 18 years to represent them in the halls of the NC House of Representatives.