ON THE ISSUES
Agriculture forms the backbone of our state’s economy, particularly in Eastern North Carolina. Food commodities, aquaculture and forestry products contribute eighty-four billion dollars to the economy. From sweet potatoes and tobacco to hogs and poultry, we have a strong and rich history of farming and agriculture in our region. I will always fight for our North Carolina farmers and advance policies that promote local agriculture production.
I believe that this country and this Great State belong to the People, our citizens. Unfortunately, liberal activist judges have taken over at the state-level, calling into question our very fundamental freedoms. The greatest danger to our freedoms is a government that disregards our Constitution. Abandoning the Constitution and its principles is a slippery slope — one that I commit to relentlessly fight against in the legislature.
JOBS & ECONOMY
When I was first elected, North Carolina’s economy was in bad shape. We had the third highest unemployment rate in the country, a $3 billion dollar budget deficit, record high taxes and out-of-control regulations that were killing small businesses. That’s why we immediately went to work to get our economy moving again. We enacted job-creating regulatory reform, passed historic tax relief, rolled back government red tape and balanced our state budgets. These reforms have led to an all-time low in unemployment, over 500,000 new jobs created, the elimination of over $5 billion in debt and deficits and more money in the pockets of hardworking families. In fact, North Carolina has now been recognized by Forbes as the best state in the country for business.
It is my top priority to ensure our students and their education are put above all else and that parents – who know their children’s needs the most – are empowered and involved in their education. Since first elected, I’m proud to have supported increased funding for our classrooms and helped pass reforms that put our students first by reducing class sizes, expanding school choice, modernizing our schools and prioritizing early education. I’m also pleased to have supported five consecutive years of pay raises for our teachers, which has resulted in the average teacher salary surpassing $50,000 a year for the first time ever.
Like everyone else, high-energy prices affect my family. They also hurt my neighbors and hard working families all across our state. Particularly during the winter months, heating oil, natural, and LP gas takes a tremendous bite out of family budgets. Anything we can do to lower this burden is essential; the more dollars people have in their pockets, the better. Energy policy must be holistic, incorporating traditional generation methods in the short run, with emphasis on development and investment into renewable energy in the long run for a clean, sustainable, and cost-effective future.
Accessible, reasonably priced healthcare is important for people all across North Carolina, but this is especially true for rural areas like Greene, Wilson and Wayne counties. We must pursue policies which preserve doctor-patient relationships, expand access, and improve quality and cost for patients. We must also enact policies which ensure that people can get the medications they need.
The antidote for out of control spending and ballooning debt is not increased taxation. Rather, we have been working to find ways to operate more efficiently so that North Carolinians can keep more of their hard-earned money. We have worked hard to produce and maintain a tax system that does not burden the middle-class, allowing businesses to grow the economy.
MILITARY & VETERANS
I have the greatest appreciation for the men and women who serve in uniform and I will always work to ensure they have the support and resources they need to be successful in North Carolina. Having had the privilege to represent many military families surrounding Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, I also understand the rich heritage of our military in North Carolina and have actively fought to protect our military bases. North Carolina is called the most military-friendly state in America for a reason and it is because we have led the way when it comes to supporting our military families and the installations they serve on. That’s why I will continue fighting for our active duty military, their families and the countless veterans who call North Carolina home to ensure they get the care and attention that they have earned and deserve.
Our state's infrastructure needs vast improvements in order to serve the people who rely on those roads. Improvements made to our roads and infrastructure not only increase safety, but provide jobs for our community. When taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly on transportation projects, our state's potential grows.