CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Democrat and former Biden Administration official Gabe Esparza is running for state treasurer. If elected, Esparza would be the first Latino elected to a statewide office in North Carolina.
“It’s important for Latinos because we are almost 1.2 million people in North Carolina and yet our political representation is almost zero,” Esparza said. “It’s high time that 1.2 million people have the representation that they need.”
Esparza served as a senior US Small Business Administration official, leading the Office of International Trade. He is currently a Trustee for Central Piedmont Community College.
Esparza says one of his top priorities is ensuring the successful transition of the State Health Plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Aetna.
“Independent of the merits of that decision, this is going to be an important transition that we mind very carefully,” he said. “It is going to be important that the customer service aspect of that transition is minded smartly and this is where my experience in the private sector running businesses and running customer service centers will make a difference.”
Esparza also says he will advocate for lower health care costs.
“We want to make sure that health care costs, generally, not only for state employees but for all retirees and North Carolinians are as cost effective and managed as possible,” he said. “I believe the route to that though is not only the transparency but also the relationship. It should not be a confrontational relationship. It should be a partnership.”Democrat and Charlotte resident Rep. Wesley Harris is running against Esparza in the primary. Incumbent Republican State Treasurer Dale Folwell is running for governor. Huntersville resident Rep. John Bradford is running on the Republican side.
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