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The Political Beat Candidate Guide: Mecklenburg County primary elections

2024 North Carolina Primary Election Candidate Guide

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC — Primary elections in Mecklenburg County are on March 5 and many positions have Republicans and Democrats vying to win.

The Political Beat Team sent each candidate a series of questions, here are their unedited responses.

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners At-Large

Leigh Altman (D)

What is your occupation?-Attorney

Why are you running?-Our residents deserve genuine public servants, not politicians. I work hard every day to make progress on our community’s big issues and to be responsive to each person who reaches out with a question or concern about the services provided by the Mecklenburg County Government. I am running again because I feel I am helping our quality of life with concrete policy improvements and strengthening the social fabric of our community with governance that is responsive to the needs of our residents.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-We must work to increase household incomes so all our residents can afford housing, healthcare, and transportation. I focus on innovative workforce development initiatives that can prepare and train our residents for employment in our region — now and in the coming decades.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-Yes. Providing a safe environment is the first duty of every elected official. I strongly support investments in mental health as well as investments in violence interrupter programs. Equally important is providing economic opportunity so all residents can chart a successful future for themselves.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-I am very careful about balancing the burden of taxes against the revenue the County needs to deliver essential services. I scrutinize every program to assess whether — based upon data and metrics — it is moving the needle to improve outcomes for our residents.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-I spent a 17-year career as a public-interest attorney fighting for kids, seniors, and at-risk populations before running for office. As we are a nation of laws, my legal training has proved useful in my work as a Commissioner over my two terms. Additionally, the specific kind of work I did as a lawyer gave me direct experience with our Department of Social Services and the families whom the County serves. I have carried those lessons with me as a Commissioner and they greatly inform the work I do every day.

Patricia ‘Pat’ Cotham (D)

What is your occupation- Recruiter.

Why are you running?-Voters have heavily supported me in every election since 2012. They continue to tell me that they like that I have common sense and they see me in the community fighting for them! I am curious so I study the issues and “get in the weeds” to better understand the obstacles that people face every day. I have “their backs” and I am not afraid to stand alone for injustice. People need me to continue to work for them. I am honored to serve the people.

What are some important issues facing the county and how do I plan to address it?-Lack of confronting the intersection of huge problems….instead, we seem to keep them in silos. We have made progress on serious issues like adequate housing, mental health especially for children, environmental justice, violence especially with our youth, quality and education etc. We have to circle around all these issues and try to prevent them as well as help to satisfy today’s need while also planning for the months ahead with the same problem. We do studies and have reports from a task force but by the time the plan is published we have spent $500K and it is already out of date. Because of my journalism education, I look at every issue as a story. Then I start my research by contacting those who are affected and find out how we got to that point. I follow single Moms and see their obstacles with child care, I ask to open a refrigerator to see if it is empty, I talk to landlords who want to help and knock on doors of families renting from a corporate landlord. I accepted years ago that I approach things differently than many. So I help families daily, whether I am at their son’s funeral, or I am with them in eviction court, or in domestic violence or custody court. If they have rats or bedbugs in their section 8 housing housing I will fight for them. If they are homeless, I will look them in the eye and ask how I can help them.

Should the county take on a larger role in preventing violence?-Yes and we have. Around 2016-2017, our then Health Director said Violence was a Public Health Issue. So he motivated us to start thinking about it like that. We hired more healthcare workers who worked closely with CMPD. We made progress at analyzing how we got to this point. After working prior to being elected with individuals who had paid their debt to society, I knew that many adults and teens did not have coping skills. I remember a man who had been incarcerated who called me and said he didn’t get paid. I said, “what do you want to do?” He said, “I can either beat him up or get high.” He had no idea he had other options. Many, repeat many people grow-up not learning how to cope and what to do. We need more available people to be that mentor or grandpa or aunt to help adults, teens, and preteens solve problems instead of picking up a gun.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential of tax increases?-I have always tried to do this. I spoke out against the art tax and the transportation tax and the recent school bond -all of which will increase taxes and will also increase insurance rates. I joined Commissioner Leake and Griffin in wanting to do a $1B bond which would NOT raise taxes. The people voted to raise taxes for four years with the 2.5B (plus it can be renewed for about 60% without voter input). That will result in more of a housing gap along with other financial problems for residents. I have voted against programs that are too expensive to operate five commissioners can do what they want. I accept this fact and speak out anyway.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-My life experiences from always being the “new kid” to being blessed to have a strong family, to having a dorm roommate in college who was in foster care her whole life, to working with disadvantaged people many of whom who have been incarcerated, to having a successful small business for 10 years, to being a caregiver to three family members plus many other experiences including hosting 18 international high school students over six years add to my deep understanding of the lives of people whom I serve. Staying close to the people and listening to them, has always given me an advantage. Listening is very different from “waiting for your turn to talk.” To serve the people, I need to know the people. I know the people.

Arthur Griffin Jr. (D)

What is your occupation?-RETIRED, former Senior Vice President, McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY

Why are you running?-I grew up in a Charlotte family during segregation where ends barely met. My teachers and community were lifelines to my success. I know the weight of poverty and the strength it demands. I want to use my lived experiences to make upward mobility a reality, rather than a political slogan.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-The forecast of a vanishing middle class (and its attendant problems) is the greatest problem facing Mecklenburg County in the next decade. According to the County’s research professionals, forty-five (45%) percent of people working in Mecklenburg County are considered low wage workers. If we are successful in increasing the County’s middle class, then I would expect a reduction in discretionary spending, less demand for in-migration housing, leveling off the current rising cost for housing and need for services. If elected, I would focus on developing our local human assets through workforce development to fill the void in our dwindling middle class with current residents.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-All municipalities, to include Mecklenburg County, should take a larger role in addressing violence. Frederick Douglas said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to fix broken men.” We are failing our children and young adults by not having a results-based accountability culture which would confirm the root causes and help to create a pathway to solutions. As a society, we have appointed leaders in a variety of areas such as housing, environmental justice, food insecurities and infrastructure but have failed to ensure that we have appointed leaders to build strong children. We must be intentional if we want to reduce violence in our community.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-To get a greater return on taxpayer investments, I would work to develop smart goals around each budget priority. Presently, we do not have smart goals aligned to each board budget priority making it difficult to determine if we are getting the expected outcomes. Create a results-based accountability culture.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-My lived experiences and focus on results-based accountability.

Blake Van Leer (D)

What is your occupation?-Entrepreneur, Investor

Why are you running?-Mecklenburg is growing massively and now is the time to prepare for what the future looks like so that our communities are not left behind. We’re strategically prepared with modern solutions. I know I can make an impact and achieve results that may impact lives within our county.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-A few at the top of my list are housing, education, health systems, homelessness, economy, and transportation. When it comes to housing, economics, and education, I view these as connected, and by that, I mean we can enhance our education system by preparing our children’s future with modern life skills. If you look at other countries like China, they teach computer science at an early age and as their second language. Additionally, we could be looking at drone piloting, drone maintenance of drones or similar tech. Better prepared children mean better wage earners to help keep up with housing and contribute to our economy. We can also partner with our zoning department, the city, and developers to make sure we’re strategically growing with affordable housing. Establish an option for pre-submittal meetings, establish interlocal agreements, revise zoning codes, and increase residential types vs just single family. I’m a numbers person and since we’re growing massively, we’ll need to develop some growth metrics when it comes to support for resources for our homeless, health systems and transportation. It’s 2024; we can model this growth out effectively so we’re not reacting to horrible situations after the fact or just during election cycles.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-In our county, homicides and gun-related assaults have doubled in the last 5 years. At the county level, we need to invest strategically in our education. I can’t stress this enough! CMS has done a great job, however after meeting with some local communities, they feel like they’re not heard and are asking for more support. When reading reports, it shows we’re investing hundreds of millions into some communities and seeing inadequate results. This means we’re not tracking data enough or not tracking it properly and, in other words, taking a sledgehammer to hammer a nail. In the private sector, we hold emergency meetings when this happens. This is where I can see AI helping us analyze schools and community data quicker and recommending solutions within days, which will, in turn, help us do our jobs better. Every second we wait to pivot or make changes for a child’s education could jeopardize their future. For safety, did I mention drones? It takes police roughly 45 minutes to clear a school in response to violence or God forbid a shooting. If a safety drone is parked in a school, it takes it 1-2 minutes on average to run a quick scan and identify a shooter. A drone can also help police, in general, assess the situation to avoid mistakes, e.g., when a person clearly is not armed or a response to a false report, etc. The future is now and we can save lives with technology.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-First, I think there are probably some loopholes and missed opportunities. I’ve done forensic accounting for other businesses and we always identify opportunities for additional revenue streams and I’m curious what we can find during some deep dives during budget meetings. With that said, we have to be careful to not add additional costs for residence already experiencing affordable housing issues, if anything they need a boost or more help and not higher taxes. Outside of that, the commissioners have already raised taxes, we can use that as a baseline for now. The economic road ahead is uncertain; we need to avoid being short-sighted and model out future budgets with potentially a rocky economy. That’s where my AI and analytical background can help.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-Having a fresh perspective with a modern-thinking mindset. At all of my projects, I become obsessed with achieving results and holding myself accountable. I’ve also had a few profound moments in my life like the death of my child and other loved ones. Which means I only take on jobs I know I can make an impact on. I plan to fight for Mecklenburg like I would my family.

Yvette Townsend-Ingram (D)

What is your occupation?-I am the Director of Foundation Relations at Johnson C. Smith University

Why are you running?- I’m running for BOCC At-Large for many reasons, the first being that “I have skin in the game” and I’m familiar with many of the issues families face in Mecklenburg County such as ensuring my family has safe, “affordable” housing; ensuring equity within our schools; especially for our Black & Brown scholars, access to healthy, nutritious food that’s not too far from my home; and working with small, minority businesses to scale up their operations so that they can thrive. I have so many lived experiences to benefit from, where I’ve had to depend on county services for my family. Working through those challenges with the county’s help has given me an empathy that I intend to use to help others. In addition to being a servant leader with experience as an entrepreneur, a political activist, and an educator, I have research and data analytics skills that will inform how we as a commission will collect data and benchmark our progress and identify opportunities. I will help inform the services that fill in the gaps for families, their basic needs.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-The most important issues facing Mecklenburg County are equitable education for our scholars from Pre-K through college/career training; safe, equitable housing; food security, especially in the six zip codes deemed food deserts; and reducing gun violence. There are several programs that Mecklenburg County uses to improve socioeconomic and racial disparities in the community, but the community is unaware of these services and programs. One of my listed priorities is to improve communication modes and methods of county services to residents. I also proposed a communication project in my PB Meck project to better communicate services as program co-lead. Understanding that I will be new to commission and will need the support of at least 5 other commissioners, the goals that I have set for myself are to 1. Improve communication of county services to residents 2. Improve wrap-around services to all families. 3. Accelerate the county’s Minority, Women Small Business Enterprise Program 4. Partner will stakeholders to diminish food insecurity in 6 zip codes designated as deserts.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-There is always more to do, so yes. Just as the county declared racism a public health crisis, declaring violence a public health crisis could potentially get the county federal dollars to expand current programs such as the violence interrupter program, and mimick programs in other cities that have proven beneficial.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-I am a grant-writer and researcher by profession and I enjoy it. I believe there is federal funding that can be secured for the programs we need. Raising taxes should always be a move of last resort. Our tax rate has remained revenue neutral for several years. We will work diligently to serve as many families as possible without further burdening them with increased taxes.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-I’m the only Black woman running for an At-Large seat, and we need more Black, female representation on the BOCC and in NC government. I have “skin in the game”! Many of the issues I identified above are issues that I’ve experienced previously or I’m still experiencing. I have an empathy and experience factor that puts me in a different position than my opponents. Additionally, I know that in leadership, the objective is to lead in such a way that you are preparing others to take your place and exceed your accomplishments. We need leaders in the pipeline who understand the issues that our citizens face daily. For too many leaders, if it doesn’t affect them and their family, they cannot understand the consequences of not addressing it and there is no sense of urgency. I know the urgency of critical needs because I’ve experienced it first-hand.

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners District 2

Vilma D. Leake (D)

What is your occupation?-I am a public servant of the people of Mecklenburg County. In that capacity I hold the title of County Commissioner for District 2 in Mecklenburg County. I am responsible for contributing to the Board’s major responsibilities, including but not limited to adopting the annual County budget, setting the County property tax rate, assessing and establishing priorities on the many community needs throughout Mecklenburg county and District 2, especially those related to health, education, welfare, mental health and the environment. Since being elected to represent District 2 in 2008, I have held to my priority to protect the most economically vulnerable residents of the County: children and senior citizens. I have also been effective in addressing the needs of minority business owners by developing a Small Business Consortium.

Why are you running?-Much has been accomplished over the years, but there is much that still needs to be done. I am running to continue to advocate and fight and not only on a local level, but on a state level for better pay for our teachers. I am running to advocate for better services for our senior citizens and youth throughout our health and human service programming. Throughout my career I have voiced the concerns of the people and will continue to do that. I will advocate and fight for those things that are important and what matters to improve life for all citizens of Mecklenburg County.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-Growth. Mecklenburg county is growing, and we are outpacing our resources. This in turn has had a negative impact on the bottom line on the quality education for our children; quality pay for teachers; healthcare and support for our senior citizens, housing affordability, and violence. It is past due that the City and the County come together and have a retreat to discuss the importance of how we are going to manage our growth and future taxation on the citizens of Mecklenburg County.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-Yes. There is always more that we can and should do.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-It is incumbent upon the County Commission to effectively allocate funds to programs that are effective and to ensure that we are being strategic about how we distribute taxpayer’s monies for maximum impact. I would balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents by reassessing revenue generating programs such as the Traffic Light Camera Program to see how we can restructure the program to work between the City, County and School Board in order to generate additional revenue; and revisit assessing entry fees for non-county residents utilizing specified parks within the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation system.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-My experience, dedication, and long-standing commitment to civic engagement sets me apart from my opponent. As one of the co-founders and charter members of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg my life of service and dedication to addressing the numerous issues plaguing our community began in the mid 1960s. In fact, I registered to vote at the age of 17 and have voted in primary and general elections since that time. Whereas my opponent, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, has only voted in one primary election (September 12, 2023) and had no record of affiliation to any political party until January 6, 2023. I have served the educational needs of Mecklenburg County as a public-school teacher for more than 30 years and served on the Board of Education for 11 years. I was first elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2008. I currently serve on the County’s Performance Review Committee, Audit Review Committee, Women’s Advisory Board, Health and Human Services Committee, and the Government Relations Committee. I have served on the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Public Education Steering Committee and the National Association of Counties (NACo) National Board of Large Urban Counties Caucus Steering Committee. In recognition for my dedicated service as a public servant, I have received numerous community service awards and recognition. Among them are the Legends Award in recognition of “Valuable Contributions” made to the Charlotte Community (awarded by Charlotte Mecklenburg Education Association) and The Broad Institute “Broad Fellows Award.”

Charles Osborne (D)

What is your occupation?-Successful Entrepreneur

Why are you running?-As a Charlotte native, I want to serve as an advocate for our community, as I am committed to bringing effective leadership to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. I’m dedicated to finding forward-thinking solutions that will make Mecklenburg County a better place for us all. Drawing from my experiences in law enforcement and as an entrepreneur, I’m focused on working constructively on issues like economic development, public safety, and education. I know first-hand the importance of empowering small businesses, ensuring a safe community, and advocating for a school system that works well for everyone. I want to bring people together and create effective solutions to improve Mecklenburg County.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-The most important issue the County will have to address is ensuring the safety and well-being of residents, specifically creating a safe environment for all residents in Mecklenburg County. This is a top priority for the community, and I plan to achieve this by working directly with Sheriff McFadden and ensuring the sheriff has the proper resources.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-I believe the county should play a substantial role in addressing violence, as community safety in Mecklenburg County should be a top priority. As a former Police Officer and Detective for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, I have seen the best and the worst parts of society. In addressing violence, we need a comprehensive approach aimed at protecting our residents and fostering a secure, welcoming environment. This includes collaboration with residents, local organizations and stakeholders in the community to address safety concerns and promote safer communities. We need to support crime prevention programs, and comprehensive support services, and actively push for funding and resources to tackle the root causes of crime and assist vulnerable communities.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-Balancing the need for additional services with the potential for tax increases on residents is a complex task. However, we must ensure that essential services are adequately funded while prioritizing fiscal responsibility. This involves thoroughly reviewing the budget to identify areas where cost efficiency can be improved and exploring alternative revenue sources – seeking opportunities for partnerships that can help offset the need for tax increases. My goal is to strike a balance that maintains the quality of services residents rely on while being mindful of the financial burden on our community.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-What separates me from my opponent is I am the best candidate to serve District 2. I will bring a fresh perspective, accountability, creative ideas and innovative solutions when elected to the Board of Commissioners. My background as a successful entrepreneur and my time as a former Police Officer/ Detective provide me with a unique skill set to address the challenges facing Mecklenburg County residents. Additionally, I am committed to effective and respectful leadership, which enables me to bring practical solutions to the table that people of diverse backgrounds can embrace. I am eager to build upon the foundation that has been laid but I recognize that the community deserves an active leader.

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners District 3

George Dunlap (D)

What is your occupation?-Chair, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners

Why are you running?-I want to continue the collaborative and effective work my colleagues and I have been doing with other community stakeholders in health care and human services, access to affordable housing, support of public education (pre-k through higher education), economic development, environmental stewardship, and equity across our service domains.

What is the most important issue facing our county and how do you plan to address it?-Economic well-being and upward mobility, which directly impact access to quality education, health care (including mental health), affordable housing and safe neighborhoods. The county has been a leader in raising wages for its employees; increasing funding for health and mental health services; funding numerous partner organizations to help them build their capacity to employ and serve residents; significantly increase funding for early care and education, CMS, and CPCC; increasing support for affordable housing stock and supporting our Sheriff’s Office for safer neighborhoods. Under the Board’s leadership and the County Manager’s Office, we have been recognized as one of the best run counties in the country, notwithstanding continuing challenges and opportunities. I plan to continue working effectively with my colleagues and other community stakeholders to ensure further progress on the Board’s priorities. We will continue to listen to the community and respond as best we can, despite the challenges ahead. I strongly believe we are heading in the right direction.

Should the county take a larger role in addressing violence?-In our community, many different law enforcement agencies address crime. The county fund’s the Sherriff’s Office, which is a major role. Our Sheriff, who is elected by the voters, works with the Board along with other law enforcement partners, has created innovative programs that address crime, e.g., the gun buyback program, providing gun locks, and playing a greater role with the young people in our community. In addition, the county adopted “The Way Forward: Mecklenburg County Community Violence Strategic Plan 2023-2024,” to focus more keenly on community violence. It is collaborating with the city to fund the Cure Violence Prevention Program to reduce gun violence in our community.

How will you balance the need for more services with the potential for tax increases on residents?-As Mecklenburg County grows, so will our tax base grow. Additionally, zoning rules have been changed to allow for more density, which will also generate more property tax dollars for the county. Our residents just approved a 2.5-billion-dollar School Bond, which comes with a 1-cent property tax increase. I believe that our board has managed our resources well and has avoided the need to unnecessarily raise taxes.

What sets you apart from your opponents?-I have over a decade of direct experience providing leadership in Mecklenburg County that affects over one million residents. I have a documented record of achieving impactful outcomes for residents of our community in the areas for which the county has statutory responsibility, e.g., adopting an annual budget, setting the property tax rate, health and human services, community safety, etc. My record will show consistent and steady efforts to keep taxes as low as possible, while also delivering critical services for all county residents. My leadership as chair of the Mecklenburg BOCC has led to my elected service on state and national boards to help counties across NC and the country. Similarly, I have appeared to represent counties before a U.S. Congressional hearing. Simply put, I believe I am better prepared to serve as the District #3 representative on the BOCC based on my record of service and leadership.

Congressional District 8

John Bradford III (R)

What is your occupation?-I’m a business owner, I’ve started two different companies which I built from the ground up right here in North Carolina. I’m currently the CEO & Founder of PetScreening, my second company. I’m also in the North Carolina House of Representatives, proudly representing Mecklenburg County in my 4th term.

Why are you running?-I’m running for Congress because Washington is broken, and we need bold, conservative leadership able to deliver results — not rhetoric. That’s exactly what I’ve done in my 4-terms as a state legislator. Since being elected, I’ve been a champion of initiatives to lower taxes, attract more businesses to North Carolina, balance our state’s budget every year, and delivering the largest personal income tax cut in state history. I’ve also been a business owner — starting two companies from the ground up with my latest business servicing tens of thousands in this district. I know what it means to sign both the back and the front of a paycheck, and right now Americans are hurting. I’ll use my experience, both as a legislator and business owner, and bring a proven track record of getting things done to Washington.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-North Carolinians are facing multiple challenges at the moment. First, the southern border crisis—the effects of which go well beyond only border states. These open border policies are putting our families and wellbeing at risk, as the cost of illegal immigration is laid at the feet of taxpayers. The crime, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and the national security threat faced by the failure at our nation’s border must be faced. My first fight in Washington is to close the border. Next is fixing our economy and lowering inflation, which means fixing the out-of-control spending in Washington. The 34-trillion-dollar debt puts us in jeopardy, our children, and our future generations as well. In Raleigh, I balanced the state budget every year, helped save the state billions of dollars, and delivered the largest personal income tax cut in NC history. I want to bring the same conservative solutions to Washington and end reckless spending. We have to bring real solutions to fix our economy and inflation. I know that is a talking point for most candidates, but I am the only one running for this seat with experience balancing a state budget and bringing in new revenue to offset a bad economy.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-As Israel is the United States’ closest ally, I am a firm advocate for supporting Israel during this ongoing conflict and its fight to eliminate the threat against itself from Hamas. Israel is a stabilizing presence and the only democracy in the Middle East, and it is critical that they are able to continue prospering while the United States maintains its collaborative relationship with the country. As Israel continues to protect itself from the hateful attacks from Hamas, we must continue being an ally, provide military resources as needed, and support their fight. As a State Representative, I proudly supported bills affirming our state’s support for Israel.

In dealing with the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Biden administration should have given Ukraine the weapons they needed to defend itself before Russia invaded instead of an endless stream of money without any accountability. While we ensure Ukraine is equipped to defend their border, we must make sure that any assistance given to the country is centered around a strategy to bring this war to an end and prioritize accountability. However, before the United States sends any more funds for Ukraine to defend its border, we must fix our own border.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Congress must close the border immediately and do away with the open border policies that have allowed this spiraling southern border crisis and record high illegal immigration. Then, the wall that President Trump started to build must be finished, and any illegal immigrants caught crossing the border or found within the United States must be sent back. Furthermore, we have to reinstate the remain in Mexico policy that the Biden administration ended. I’ve worked to pass legislation ending sanctuary cities and prioritizing the rights of American citizens. In Congress, I’ll build the wall, secure our border, and stop the flow of drugs and protect our families.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I’m bringing proven experience and real solutions to this race, being the only one who has served in office previously. As a legislator, I worked to bring real solutions to fix the problems our state is facing. I’ve fought to lower taxes, helped initiate the largest cut to state income tax in state history, balanced our state’s budget, and brought new opportunities to North Carolina—bolstering our revenue. I’ve been a leader in outlawing sanctuary cities, strengthening local law enforcement, empowering parents to have a greater say in their children’s education, and passing voter ID to protect our elections.

Don Brown (R)

What is your occupation?- Author/Attorney.

Why are you running?-To fight to restore original-intent constitutional order and sanity to the federal governmental process.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-The Fentanyl crisis fueled by the democrats’ insane and idiotic open-border policies. Per the CDC 107,000 Americans died from Fentanyl from Aug 2012 - Aug 2022. I am the only candidate in the nation calling for the federal death penalty for fentanyl traffickers.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-In Ukraine-Russia the U.S. could try and broker a cease-fire and a peace agreement, but no more money for Ukraine. Israel is different. Israel is one of America’s closest and most valuable democratic allies, and the Judaeo-Christian bonds that bind America to Israel put it on a higher plane of greater importance to the United States than Ukraine. The United States should offer protection, including military protection for Israel, if necessary.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Bring in the U.S. military to shut the border, tight as a drum. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution mandates that the federal government protect the states from invasion, which the border crisis has become. At this point, the border has become a military problem, it’s beyond the capabilities of the Border Patrol and ICE. The border problem has become an existential national emergency, justifying military intervention.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-My record, both in the U.S. military and as a constitutional lawyer, is more fully set forth below:

  • I served as a US Navy JAG Officer.
  • My last duty station was at the Pentagon, where I advised the Secretary of the Navy on military affairs.
  • Studied International Law through the U.S. Naval War College.
  • Authored 15 books on the military, including three national bestsellers.
  • Have appeared as a subject matter expert on Fox News and other outlets on military and legal matters.
  • As a civilian attorney and ex-JAG Officer, led an internal investigation into the shootdown of a U.S. military chopper, Extortion 17, shot down in Afghanistan in 2011, killing 30 Americans, including 17 members of SEAL Team Six.
  • Wrote a book, CALL SIGN Extotion 17, posting findings of the shootdown.
  • Appeared as principal subject matter expert in the movie FALLEN ANGEL: Extortion 17, distributed by Salem Media, based on my book CALL SIGN Extortion 17.
  • Persuaded the House Armed Services Committee, headed by former Chairman Mac Thornberry, working with former Congressman Walter Jones, to launch an internal investigation of the Extortion 17 shootdown.
  • Appeared as a guest speaker at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (twice), the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and the National World War II Museum.
  • Written multiple national OPEDs on military and legal matters, including on Fox News, The Hannity Show, the Washington Times, the New York Post, American Thinker, and other venues.
  • Lectured in multiple venues on the United States Constitution.
  • Represented former U.S. Army paratrooper, Lieutenant Clint Lorance (82nd Airborne Division) successfully obtaining a pardon from President Trump from political prosecution under Obama’s Pentagon.
  • Battled Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates, representing Christians before the EEOC whose jobs were threatened for refusing the jab, and took one case, with nearly 100 Americans, to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, before Biden backed down on the mandates.
  • My collective set of experiences, both as a military expert, a bestselling author, and a constitutional lawyer provide a unique skill set that makes me uniquely qualified to step in and serve the citizens of the 8th District from Day 1.

Linda Brown (R)

What is your occupation?-Small Business owner, real estate broker, author, and public speaker

Why are you running?-This election is a turning point. We can either choose fresh options who are driven by service to others-or continue electing those who want positions and power. Our Founding Fathers designed this country to be run by citizens who took a turn in service and then returned home. I not only support term limits but have chaired the project in NC for the past few years. We have to end the era of elite power and return that power to the citizens.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-I will support every effort to close the border, enforce our immigration laws, and ensure the integrity of this great nation. The open borders are having devastating effects on the economy, public safety (human trafficking and fentanyl in specific), and our national identity. We’re past due on addressing this crisis with not just immediate border closure but on immigration reforms as well.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-We’ve already sent over 100 BILLION to Ukraine and have no accounting of where it has gone. The taxpayers should never have been involved in this centuries-old conflict and we should not be involved now. Israel has always been our ally in the Middle East and when she was attacked on October 7, we rightly supported.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Thousands of people are crossing our borders illegally and being sent into our communities. We must secure our border and enforce the laws that are on the books.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I’m not a career politician, nor do I aspire to be. I’m a business owner and mom who believes this is a crucial time in the life of our country for common-sense people to raise a hand and serve. I love this country and I’m willing to make the sacrifice so my kids can experience the blessings of liberty. I’m a communicator who knows how to defend my positions-and will defend yours. I’m not someone who can be bought or canceled-I already belong to Jesus. I fully support term limits for members of congress. To that end, you will find me in the local grocery store both during and after my service; where I was born, raised, and will always be proud to call home.

Mark Harris (R)

What is your occupation?-Senior Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church, Vice-President at Family Research Council

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-As I visit voters across the district, the border crisis is at the top of their minds. We must immediately close the border and use our military to help homeland security border security officers; remove immigrants who have not followed our laws, and then congress must act to tighten the asylum and immigration laws.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts? America must help our friends in Israel and also push back against Russia. Providing arms to allow our aliens to fight their battle is the only way I would vote to help them. We cannot continue to send funds with no accountability.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Same as above. We must immediately close the border and use our military to help homeland security border security officers; remove immigrants who have not followed our laws, and then Congress must act to tighten the asylum and immigration laws.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I am endorsed by the House Freedom Fund, NC Values Coalition and several members of congress. I have already won a general election race for Congress when over 139,000 voted for me. I have gone through new member orientation and have already have a good working relationship with members of the Freedom Caucus to hit the ground running.

Chris Maples (R)

What is your occupation?-U.S. Navy Veteran, Former Advisor to Congressman Dan Bishop

Why are you running?-I have been serving the people of the 8th congressional district since 2013 as an advisor to two of North Carolina’s greatest congressional representatives. As a veteran, educator, husband, and father – I’m ready to hit the ground running to serve the people of our great state with integrity and honor.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-You should not have to worry when your loved ones go out to the grocery store. Unfortunately, Joe Biden and the Democrats have allowed criminals to take over our streets -- looting stores, setting fire to buildings, and rioting in the streets. This has to end now. As a Member of Congress, I will restore law and order to our country by supporting law enforcement and other first responders, providing the resources needed to hire and retain our local heroes. I will also work to put violent offenders and career criminals behind bars, and keep them there, by eliminating the funding that is supporting activist prosecutors.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-The U.S. should support Ukraine through military equipment and training. I do not support sending American troops. Israel was unjustly attacked by the Terrorist group Hamas. They have the ability to seek out and destroy their attackers and the world should stand arm-and-arm with Israel against Hamas and all the Iranian proxy groups. Iran is responsible for more American deaths than any other nation in the world today. And they must pay for their aggression. Russia and Iran have tremendous amounts of extra cash due in part to the poor policies of Joe Biden.When gas was less than $2 a gallon, the Russian and Iranian economies were dismal. Due to the Socialist/Leftist economic policies of the Biden Administration, they now have exponentially more funding to wage war against the West.Additionally, President Biden’s efforts to send Iran Billions of Dollars has enabled them to use funds previously earmarked for other efforts to expand their aggression towards the West. Until the Biden Administration addresses the primary culprit is the attack on Israel, Iran, more innocent people die.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Secure America’s Borders. Recent reports indicate more than 13 million “got-a-ways” entered the U.S. in 2023. A nation that cannot secure its border is not a nation at all. No immigration policy will be worth the paper it’s written on until the border is secure. As a Member of Congress, I will also work to designate all Criminal Drug Cartels as “International Terrorist Organizations.” In short, completion of the border wall must begin now.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-A lifetime of service and experience representing the people of NC-08. I have come closer to serving the constituents in this district than any of my opponents.

Did not respond:

Allan Baucom

Congressional District 14

Jeff Gregory

Jeff Gregory (R)

What is your occupation?-Retired

Why are you running?-I am running to serve the people in the 14th district and fight the communist agenda in DC.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-In my district there is a need for jobs. Doing business with communist countries and giving China favored nation status is wrong and has never been ok. We must find avenues for American jobs in our district and drilling for oil in ND SD Montana and Alaska will ease the burden of businesses in our district and help create new jobs, energy cost is the largest cost for the industry.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts? I do not believe we are being told the whole story about Ukraine I feel we should not be sending our tax dollars to Ukraine at this time. We should be securing our own borders. As far as Israel I pray for peace but if war comes I stand with Israel.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Several years back I stated to close the border except for commerce until we have the border under control. Today it is a national security issue and should be treated as such.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I am not an opportunist or a career candidate like my opponents. I believe in God Family Country and will serve the people without any self-serving thoughts or actions. The constitution and bible will be my guide and serving the people is my mission.

Lillian Joseph

Lillian Joseph (R)

What is your occupation? BUSINESS OWNER

Why are you running? TO KEEP AMERICA THE #1 SUPERPOWER IN THE WORLD; TO USE MY EXPERIENCE AS A LEADER IN GRASSROOTS WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES TO STRENGTHEN OUR NATION. TO FOCUS ON THE NEXT GENERATION’S EDUCATIONAL CAPABILITIES SO THAT WE CAN MAINTAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE ON THE WORLD STAGE.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it? THE BORDER CRISIS IS THE #1 CONCERN FOR EVERY CONSTITUENT THAT I HAVE SPOKEN TO.

SOLUTIONS:

THOROUGH VETTING OF ASYLUM SEEKERS (STRICT ADHERENCE TO POLICIES THAT RELATE TO THOSE WHO QUALIFY AS ASYLUM SEEKERS), THOROUGH VETTING OF ALL LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, BRINGING THE MILITARY IN TO SUPPLEMENT OUR BORDER PATROL FORCES. CONTINUE BUILDING A WALL – USE LAYERS OF FORTIFICATION. ADDRESS THE 27 WELL-IDENTIFIED GAPS THROUGH WHICH THE MAJORITY OF ILLEGALS COME THROUGH AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER, ADJUDICATING ASYLUM CASES IN MEXICO BEFORE THE INDIVIDUAL SETS FOOT ON AMERICAN SOIL. BRING LEGAL TEAMS TO THE BORDER TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN ADJUDICATIONS, AND TO DETERMINE WHETHER INDIVIDUALS QUALIFY FOR ASYLUM. (IT’S A FACT THAT MOST PEOPLE ASKING FOR ASYLUM AND RECEIVING IT DON’T ACTUALLY QUALIFY.)

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?

SUPPORT FOR CONFLICTS, REGARDLESS OF WHICH ONE, SHOULD ALWAYS BE BASED ON WHAT IS IN THE NATIONAL SECURITY INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. WE MUST ALWAYS GAUGE WHETHER THE PARTIES INVOLVED POSE AN IMMEDIATE THREAT TO US, OR AT WHAT POINT DOWN THE LINE DO WE ANTICIPATE A POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES. AID PROVIDED, WHETHER MILITARY OR FINANCIAL, MUST BE GAUGED AND MADE PROPORTIONAL TO THE FACTORS MENTIONED, OR AS OUTLINED IN ANY TREATY OR LONG-TERM ALLIED PARTNERSHIP THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS WITH THAT PARTY. IN THE CASE OF THE UKRAINE WAR, AFTER TWO YEARS, WE SEE NO IMMEDIATE THREAT THAT RUSSIA HAS POSED TO THE UNITED STATES (AND THERE’S A COMPLETE LACK OF ACCOUNTING/TRANSPARENCY AS TO WHAT HAPPENS TO THE AID ONCE IT IS IN UKRAINIAN HANDS.) THE AMOUNT OF MILITARY AID SHOULD STEADILY BE SCALED BACK. WE SHOULD STILL CONTINUE PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN AID TO THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE, WITH AN UNDERSTANDING THAT WE RECEIVE A FULL ACCOUNTING OF ALL MONIES DISBURSED TO THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT.

IN THE CASE OF OUR LONG TIME ALLY ISRAEL, WHAT MANY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, IS THAT A LARGE PORTION OF THE “AID” PROVIDED IS DIRECTLY USED BY ISRAEL TO PURCHASE MILITARY EQUIPMENT FROM THE UNITED STATES. SO THE MONEY IS FINDING ITS WAY RIGHT BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. ISRAEL ALSO WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES TO KEEP US SAFE FROM THE MANY BAD ACTORS IN THE REGION. AS WE SEE, THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT, (NOT NECESSARILY THE IRANIAN PEOPLE,) ISRAEL’S SWORN ENEMY, HAS PROVEN TO BE A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS. FOR THIS AND MANY OTHER REASONS, WE SHOULD CONTINUE OUR SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border? SEE ABOVE, UNDER #1 ISSUE OF CONCERN TO CONSTITUENTS IN DISTRICT 14.

What sets you apart from your opponent? MY STRENGTHS HAPPEN TO ALIGN WITH WHAT OUR COMMUNITY AND NATION NEEDS AT THIS TIME. THIS IS: THE INTERNAL SOCIAL STABILIZATION AND TO CONTINUE THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE WHICH MADE US INTO THIS GREAT NATION. I AM NOT A CAREER POLITICAN. I HAVE SPENT MY CAREER, 32 YEARS, WORKING IN TRENCHES: IN THE NON-PROFIT WORLD AND IN THE NORTH CAROLINA COURTS, HELPING DRUG ADDICTS, GIVING ABUSED CHILDREN A VOICE IN COURT, FIGHTING LAWYERS AND JUDGES WHO WANT TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT AND LEAVE CHILDREN IN THE HANDS OF THEIR ABUSERS. I ALSO EMBODY A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE WHICH I GAINED AS THE DAUGHTER OF CHRISTIAN CAREER MISSIONARIES WHO LIVED AND WORKED AS SERVANT LEADERS IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. I HAVE WITNESSED FIRST-HAND, THE DEVASTATION AND ABSOLUTE TYRANNY BROUGHT ON BY SOCIALISM AND RAMPANT SECULARISM AND I AM VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED TO THIS HAPPENING TO AMERICA.

Tim Moore

Tim Moore (R)

What is your occupation?-Attorney

Why are you running?-I am running for Congress because I want to bring the same success and conservative leadership we have in North Carolina to Washington. We have proven that conservative policies such as passing a balanced budget, cutting taxes, outlawing sanctuary cities, and ensuring that voter ID is the law of the land has worked in North Carolina.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-Securing our southern border is the most important issue. Joe Biden’s terrible policies are putting our citizens and communities at risk. I will work to restore the strong border policies that were in place under President Trump and ensure that law enforcement cooperates with ICE, like we have done in North Carolina.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-The United States should support our allies and stand strong against terrorism and the evil forces who seek to destroy our democratic allies.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-Congress should address the issue of immigration by securing the southern border and by ensuring our border agents have the resources necessary to combat the rampant illegal immigration the current president has allowed.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I am a life-long resident of the district and I am the only candidate with a record of passing conservative legislation.

Pam Genant (D)

What is your occupation?-Nurse, Veteran and Small Business Owner

Why are you running?-Growing up, money was tight, but I learned two important values from my parents: help your neighbor and always work hard. We need someone to stand up to the career politicians in Washington and speak for all of us here in District 14. Yes, this is a gerrymandered district, created by and for Speaker Tim Moore to divide up. But it isn’t rural vs urban, it’s rural and urban. Together we can work to move our district forward and begin to build what will return us to fair representation in the US House.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it?-Eliminating voter suppression laws, this includes gerrymandering, restrictions at the ballot box and ongoing limitations on early and absentee voting. No one passes any legislation alone in Washington, especially in these challenging times. It starts with building relationships and a network with all members of Congress. Being willing to come to the table knowing that one person will not get all of what they want but realizing that progress can be made, and some progress is better for the American people than none. We must protect our constitutional right to vote, increase transparency in our political system, and continue to ensure the security of our elections. Overturning the SCOTUS decision on Citizens United and reaffirming that only people are people under the US Constitution, would go a long way to securing our electoral process from the impact of inequality in our nation. Specifics include:

  • Pass the Redistricting Reform Act to provide for independent commissions encouraging transparency to draw district lines.
  • Make Election Day a federal holiday.
  • Expand vote-by-mail and in-person Early Voting
  • Automatically register every 18-year-old citizen to vote.
  • Penalize states and localities that restrict access to polling places.
  • Restore voting rights nationwide to former felons who have served their prison sentences.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts?-There are no easy answers in either conflict. Our elected officials in Washington have so much more information from security and intelligence briefings available to them. They need to be in constant conversation with the people on the ground in these conflicts and must balance all of this against what is in the best interest of our citizens and the national security of the United States. We must put people first. Our Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If we believe this to be true, it must extend beyond our own borders. We must stand on our values, increase diplomatic efforts, push ceasefires where needed and support where warranted, and work to bring stakeholders to the table in a multinational effort. This is why your vote is so important. We’ve only a glimpse of what is going on during any conflict. We must know that our government reflects all of us, represents all of us and works for all of us. So be mindful of your vote.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border?-The Federal Government has purview over immigration, and in Congress I will:Work to reform the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to improve oversight, ensuring they carry out their duties with competence and humanity. Focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety. Promote closure of private immigration detention centers that focus on corporate profits. Increase staffing, including judges, to clear the backlog of immigration court cases. Work with Mexico and Central American nations to ease the conditions leading to so many migrants.

What sets you apart from your opponent?-I was the Burke County Democratic Party Chairman for six years. Before that I was the BCDP treasurer and sat on the State Executive Committee. In 2022 I ran for Congress in what was then District 10. I continue to train candidates, support auxiliaries, and work with county parties to fight for every vote in our Democracy. We have built a network of volunteers and supporters who believe in this fight. With the same American values of community service and hard work I learned from my mom and dad, I will represent this newly drawn district with compassion, integrity, and reason. I am no stranger to public service, as a nurse and a United States Army officer, serving during Operation Desert Storm, I have learned to commit to a mission and see it through to completion. With my network of connections that spans North Carolina, the volunteers and supporters, we have what it takes to move this gerrymandered District 14 together.


Pam Genant

Pam Genant (D)

What is your occupation? Nurse, Veteran, and Small Business Owner

Why are you running? Growing up, money was tight, but I learned two important values from my parents: help your neighbor and always work hard. We need someone to stand up to the career politicians in Washington and speak for all of us here in District 14. Yes, this is a gerrymandered district, created by and for Speaker Tim Moore to divide up. But it isn’t rural vs urban, it’s rural and urban. Together we can work to move our district forward and begin to build what will return us to fair representation in the US House.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it? Eliminating voter suppression laws, this includes gerrymandering, restrictions at the ballot box and ongoing limitations on early and absentee voting.

No one passes any legislation alone in Washington, especially in these challenging times. It starts with building relationships and a network with all members of Congress. Being willing to come to the table knowing that one person will not get all of what they want but realizing that progress can be made, and some progress is better for the American people than none.

We must protect our constitutional right to vote, increase transparency in our political system, and continue to ensure the security of our elections. Overturning the SCOTUS decision on Citizens United and reaffirming that only people are people under the US Constitution, would go a long way to securing our electoral process from the impact of inequality in our nation. Specifics include:

Pass the Redistricting Reform Act to provide for independent commissions encouraging transparency to draw district lines.

Make Election Day a federal holiday.

Expand vote-by-mail and in-person Early Voting

Automatically register every 18-year-old citizen to vote.

Penalize states and localities that restrict access to polling places.

Restore voting rights nationwide to former felons who have served their prison sentences.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts? There are no easy answers in either conflict. Our elected officials in Washington have so much more information from security and intelligence briefings available to them. They need to be in constant conversation with the people on the ground in these conflicts and must balance all of this against what is in the best interest of our citizens and the national security of the United States.

We must put people first. Our Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If we believe this to be true, it must extend beyond our own borders. We must stand on our values, increase diplomatic efforts, push ceasefires where needed and support where warranted, and work to bring stakeholders to the table in a multinational effort.

This is why your vote is so important. We’ve only a glimpse of what is going on during any conflict. We must know that our government reflects all of us, represents all of us and works for all of us. So be mindful of your vote.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border? The Federal Government has purview over immigration, and in Congress I will:

Work to reform the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to improve oversight, ensuring they carry out their duties with competence and humanity.

Focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety.

Promote closure of private immigration detention centers that focus on corporate profits.

Increase staffing, including judges, to clear the backlog of immigration court cases.

Work with Mexico and Central American nations to ease the conditions leading to so many migrants.

What sets you apart from your opponent? I was the Burke County Democratic Party Chairman for six years. Before that I was the BCDP treasurer and sat on the State Executive Committee. In 2022 I ran for Congress in what was then District 10. I continue to train candidates, support auxiliaries, and work with county parties to fight for every vote in our Democracy. We have built a network of volunteers and supporters who believe in this fight. With the same American values of community service and hard work I learned from my mom and dad, I will represent this newly drawn district with compassion, integrity, and reason. I am no stranger to public service, as a nurse and a United States Army officer, serving during Operation Desert Storm, I have learned to commit to a mission and see it through to completion. With my network of connections that spans North Carolina, the volunteers and supporters, we have what it takes to move this gerrymandered District 14 together.

Brendan K. Maginnis (D)

What is your occupation? Stay-at-home father and former business owner

Why are you running? North Carolinians are struggling. It’s hard to put food on the table, gas in the tank, and presents under the tree. There are international conflicts afar that threaten our national security at home. We have an opioid crisis and unresolved issues with immigration. We need leaders who can cut through the partisan divide, speak the same language of people across diverse backgrounds, and get things done to help all of them, because we’ve been witness to the results of inaction by the political elites, who draw their own districts to consolidate power and line their pockets to enrich themselves.

My parents worked 2 jobs each, so I understand what it means to just get by.

I was a business owner, so I know how a government can both help and hurt a business.

I’m a stay-at-home dad, supporting my wife in her career, so I understand the struggles women in the workforce face, whether it’s pay inequality or the high cost of childcare.

The good people of the 14th district want a candidate who understands their struggles and dreams, someone who truly represents them. They deserve a Representative with honesty, integrity, and who believes in family values.

I’m that candidate.

What is the most important issue in your district and how do you plan to address it? In one word: Jobs. How can I help bring more, good paying jobs to my district. I’ll aggressively pursue any possibilities for direct federal investment in the district and direct funds to improve infrastructure in my district to help and attract those companies who rely heavily on good infrastructure. I’ll also look to pass legislation on the federal level to counteract legislation recently passed on the state level that has had negative repercussions for employers looking to create new jobs, and those looking to bring more jobs to North Carolina and here to the 14th district.

What role, if any, should the United States have in the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas conflicts? Israel-Hamas is an internal conflict so the US role should be minimal, with a few exceptions including helping with conflict resolution or enforcing violations of international human rights.

Russia-Ukraine, despite what Russia may claim, is an external conflict, as Ukraine was a separate nation, despite its history being intertwined with Russia. The US should take an active role in external conflicts when the victim of aggression is an ally. In the case of Russia, we continue to see their expansionist goals outside their previous borders. Expanding into NATO and ally countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union is not out of the realm of possibilities, which is why stopping their aggression now is critical to the security of our partners and our own national security. US involvement in this case should be firm and resolute.

How should Congress address the issue of immigration at the U.S. border? Our immigration system is broken because we have a Republican party who views it merely as an issue to campaign on. Border protection should be fully funded. Additional federal dollars should be dedicated for facilities to hold immigrants and provide additional resources for the judicial systems that determine legal immigration and asylum. However, these only treat the effect and not the cause. Most immigrants (particularly from Central America) are fleeing their countries due to the instabilities caused by US interference going back to the 70s and 80s. To stem the flow of immigration, we must use both diplomacy and economic incentives to stabilize those Central American countries, so their citizens won’t flee due to concerns around safety or poverty. To that end we should incentivize US companies to move their jobs back from overseas to the US (and our Americas partners), with high wage manufacturing jobs returning to the US and lower wage jobs going to Central America. If those countries have stable governments, high public safety, and economic stability, then the flow of immigrants will drastically decrease as they choose to pursue their dreams in their beloved homelands, while returning manufacturing jobs to the US.

What sets you apart from your opponent? We all understand the issues Americans are facing today. But it takes more than identifying those issues to resolve them. I’m the candidate that is creating new solutions for these old problems, looking for ways to resolve the underlying causes creating these issues rather than just putting a bandage over the effects that these problems cause.

We’ve all been witness to the chaos and inaction that comes from a Republican-controlled US House so there’s no reason to believe that a lifelong politician like Speaker Moore, who’s spent his career enriching himself through his elected office, will bring anything different than more chaos and more inaction. Despite hand drawing a district in his favor, Speaker Moore is vulnerable and can be beaten, it’s just going to take the right strategy and the right candidate to execute that strategy. I am that candidate.

Senate District 41

Robert Burns (D)

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-I’m aware that this has been a discussion in our legislature this past year. I’m surprised that Republicans are behind it. While casinos could increase tax revenue and jobs for North Carolinians, I think it’s a bad idea. Being a former Credit Union CEO, I’m well aware that casinos are known to increase bankruptcies in geographic areas where they are located. This is a big negative. Until convinced otherwise, I am opposed to this idea.

What changes or reforms should be made to NC alcohol laws?-I’m not sure if anything is broken on this issue. Personally, it would be more convenient to purchase liquor at retail outlets. Not sure if our government should be in this retail business. We all want reasonable controls however beer and wine are handled by stores without problems. I’m in favor of sin taxes that make things like alcohol and cigarettes more expensive.

Kendrick Cunningham (D)

What is your occupation?-Political Scientist

Why are you running?-Kendrick Cunningham is running for Senate District 41 because he wants to secure additional funding that will help to create more diverse housing options, expand public transportation, reduce gun violence and restore main streets. This will aid the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in achieving plans they have adopted such as the Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan and the Way Forward. Kendrick is also running because he wants to help provide comprehensive services that help to house, employ and rehabilitate returning veterans. Furthermore, Kendrick wants to restore access to reproductive healthcare and mandate coverage for mammograms. Lastly, Kendrick is running to combat the STI epidemic and promote access to gender-affirming healthcare for all people.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Kendrick Cunningham firmly believes that violent crime is the foremost issue in Senate District 41. Added on with the stereotypes associated with high-crime communities, no one wants to eat, play, shop or sleep where they do not feel safe. Mecklenburg County is a pioneer, boasting the only Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) in the state. With the federal and the state of North Carolina governments establishing OVPs this year, we have a unique opportunity to govern effectively and implement a whole-of-government, public health approach to reducing violent crime utilizing federalism. Kendrick will address this issue by supporting legislation that protects existing funding for the Governor’s Crime Commission and the North Carolina Office of Violence Prevention. He will also support legislation that establishes universal Pre-K, Before-School Programming and After-School Programming. Furthermore, he will advocate to the Mecklenburg County of Commissioners for the development of the West Mecklenburg Regional Recreational Facility. He will also work alongside the City of Charlotte to increase awareness about the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program to flatten the curve of violence ahead of the summer months. Lastly, he will work to establish a GVP Watchdog Coalition to uplift survivor stories and fight back against harmful policies when introduced.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-Kendrick Cunningham supports the legalization of casinos on non-tribal lands and the statewide legalization of video poker machines. Kendrick believes that the NC General Assembly should approach the expansion of casinos in a way that does not prey on the poor. Kendrick will not support the expansion of casinos in North Carolina if the placement of casinos will adversely impact economically challenged communities.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-Kendrick Cunningham believes that local governments should be able to adopt ordinances that permit ABC stores to open on Sundays, New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day at 10:00 am. Additionally, Kendrick feels that the sale of alcohol should be expanded to private companies and that restaurants should be permanently allowed to sell mixed drinks to go or for delivery. Other reformations around alcohol law in North Carolina, Kendrick believes should be made are the legalization of happy hours, the ability for ABC stores to sell gift cards and the loosening of mixed drink sale maximums at conventions and festivals.


Lucille Puckett (D)

What is your occupation?- Founder/Director of my non-profit Take Back Our H.O.O.D.S.

Why are you running?-I’m running because I believe in the transformative power of dedicated leadership. My journey from chairing organizations, and directing afterschool programs, to actively engaging in anti-violence initiatives reflects a deep commitment to community welfare. With AA, BSW, an MBA, ongoing legal studies, and a consistent voting record, I bring a diverse skill set to tackle the challenges we face. Specifically within the Black community, I’ve advocated for policies promoting economic empowerment and educational equity. I am running to be a relentless advocate—a voice that fights for you. My vision is clear: to create safer, more prosperous communities where every resident thrives. This isn’t just a campaign; it’s a shared journey toward positive change. I ask for your endorsement, knowing that together, we can make a lasting impact on the future of our community.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-The most critical issue in my district is community safety. To address this, I propose comprehensive measures focusing on community policing, increased resources for mental health services, and strategic investment in after-school programs. Collaborating with local law enforcement, community leaders, and mental health professionals will be integral to developing effective, evidence-based solutions. Additionally, fostering community engagement through town halls and neighborhood initiatives will ensure that the voices and concerns of residents are heard. By prioritizing safety as a multifaceted issue and implementing proactive strategies, we can build a resilient and secure environment for all.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-Absolutely, as a Senator, my responsibility is to thoroughly analyze the potential benefits and drawbacks of legalizing casinos in North Carolina. Consider economic factors, potential job creation, social consequences, and public sentiments to make an informed decision that aligns with the best interests of the state and its residents.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-North Carolina could make alcohol laws more flexible by looking at how alcohol is sold and where. Could consider allowing more places to sell it or changing when it can be sold. This could make it easier for businesses and be more convenient for people. However, they need to be careful to make sure it’s safe and doesn’t cause problems. Sometimes, rules about who can sell alcohol and when can be strict. By making sensible changes, North Carolina might help businesses and make things more convenient, but they should always think about keeping people safe. It’s like finding a balance between making things easier and making sure everyone stays responsible.

Caleb Theodros (D)

What is your occupation?-IT Project Manager

Why are you running?-I’m running for office because I deeply believe in the potential of our district and am committed to its progress and prosperity. Having been an active contributor to our district’s economic fabric, I’ve witnessed firsthand the opportunities and challenges we face. I’m driven by a vision to ignite economic growth, enhance our educational system, and prioritize mental health support. I envision a district where dreams are nurtured, schools are exemplary, and well-being is a top priority. By working together, we can create a community where every success paves the way for an even brighter future. Join me in shaping a district where our collective aspirations are realized and where every individual thrives.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Expanding Economic Opportunities: I will work to attract businesses, create job training programs, and support entrepreneurship to boost employment. This will enhance economic stability and provide more opportunities for residents.

  • Improving Mental Health Support: By increasing access to affordable mental health services, promoting awareness, and collaborating with stakeholders, we can ensure that everyone has the support they need to thrive mentally and emotionally.
  • Fully Funding Education: Education is the foundation of our future. I will advocate for increased funding for schools, ensuring that every student has access to quality education, resources, and support to reach their full potential.

By focusing on these key areas, we can build a district where economic prosperity, mental wellness, and educational excellence are prioritized, leading to a brighter future for all residents.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-The question of legalizing casinos in North Carolina is a complex one, but it’s worth considering, especially given the potential benefits it could bring to our state. While the revenue generated from casinos could provide a much-needed boost to our economy, particularly in rural areas, it’s essential to approach this decision with caution and foresight. Supportive services must accompany the introduction of casinos to mitigate potential negative impacts. This includes investing in resources for gambling addiction prevention and treatment, as well as bolstering mental health services to support individuals and families affected by problem gambling. Additionally, creating entertainment districts around casinos can help diversify the local economy and attract tourists, further stimulating growth. While the revenue from casinos can provide a significant financial injection, it’s crucial to ensure that communities aren’t solely reliant on this industry. Investments in healthcare, human services, education, and infrastructure are paramount to building sustainable and resilient communities. By diversifying economic opportunities and promoting holistic development, we can ensure long-term prosperity for all residents. As a representative, I’m committed to listening to the concerns and preferences of my constituents and broader communities. If there is widespread support for legalizing casinos and implementing necessary safeguards and investments, I’m willing to support this initiative. However, any decision must be made with careful consideration of the potential impacts and with a focus on promoting the well-being and prosperity of all North Carolinians.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-North Carolina’s alcohol laws could benefit from the legalization of happy hours. Currently, restrictions on discounted drink specials during designated times limit consumer choice and hinder business opportunities for bars and restaurants. Legalizing happy hours would provide establishments with the flexibility to attract customers during off-peak hours, stimulating economic activity in the hospitality sector. It would also enhance consumer satisfaction by offering greater variety and affordability. Overall, legalizing happy hours in North Carolina would support businesses, benefit consumers, and promote responsible drinking practices, aligning with modern trends in alcohol regulation and fostering a more vibrant hospitality industry in the state.

Senate District 42

Stacie McGinn (R)

What is your occupation?-I am a business executive, nonprofit leader, and Republican Party activist.

Why are you running?-I am running because I am concerned for North Carolina’s future. I could not sit back and just watch as far-left Democrats try to roll back the progress Republicans have made and bring the mess we see in Washington D.C. to Raleigh. I have a proven record of effective leadership which makes me the most qualified candidate. I served on the “Grace Commission,” an initiative of President Reagan that successfully brought private sector practices to the federal government. Because of my hard work and record of success, I was recruited to serve as one of Bank of America’s top executives. Currently, I serve as General Counsel of Mecklenburg GOP. In this role, I led a historic effort to recruit election judges and poll observers. I also serve as head of Legislation and Public Policy for the Republican Women of Greater Charlotte. In that role, I helped craft a petition in support of the Parents’ Bill of Rights that was signed by over 300 supporters and successfully lobbied in the halls of the NC General Assembly for its passage. Further, I was actively involved in Tariq Bokhari’s City Council campaign. As a State Senator, I will deliver results for District 42.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Crime is the most important issue that I will tackle when elected. Charlotte has seen a concerning increase in crime in recent years. Just last year, drug overdoses were up 20% according to CMPD. Dangerous drugs like fentanyl are coming across the border and pouring into our communities, poisoning our neighbors. Human trafficking is also on the rise, with Charlotte having the most cases in North Carolina. In Raleigh, I would make cracking down on crime my first priority. In the State Senate, I would lead the fight to make sure that law enforcement has all of the resources they need to go after the criminals harming our communities. CMPD has reported that they still have hundreds of vacant positions, stretching officers and department resources thin. I would fight to support local government as needed to help solve the recruitment problem that has left our communities more vulnerable to crime. Further, I believe we should continue to examine North Carolina’s sentencing laws so that dangerous criminals are held accountable. Additionally, I would partner with local governments, non-profits, and law enforcement to ensure that programs are available to at-risk youth to deter them from turning to crime.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-I do not believe that North Carolina should legalize casinos. Having grown up out west, I saw firsthand the harm that casinos can cause communities. I believe the legislature should focus on lowering the cost of living, cracking down on crime, and improving our education system.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-I believe that liquor sales should be opened to commercial enterprises. The government should not have a monopoly and total control over liquor sales as it currently does.


NC House District 98

Beth Gardner Helfrich (D)

What is your occupation? former teacher, current freelance writer, and editor

Why are you running? As a third-generation North Mecklenburg native; a former teacher and school leader; a small business owner; and a working mom of five, I care deeply about my district and the future of North Carolina. We have reached a critical moment in state politics, specifically, and I’m ready to put my experience, values, and energy to work serving District 98 and its people. I stand for good governance, public education, safe and healthy families, and responsible growth.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it? The first issue is governance, itself. Without a healthy, working democracy, we can’t work toward good solutions for the people of District 98. We deserve a state government that works for us. Political corruption, gerrymandered maps, money in politics, and power grabs have hurt democracy and damaged voter trust. I will serve with accountability and transparency.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos? I would not have supported the recent proposal to tie the expansion of Medicaid to the legalization of casinos. Before making a decision on any future legislation, I would consider the specifics of the proposed legislation, input from my constituents, and input from the North Carolinians most impacted.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws? I’m not personally opposed to the recent changes put forth in the ABC omnibus bill, but I would need to consider input from my constituents and local businesses before voting on similar legislation.


Lisa Jewel (D)

What is your occupation: Marketing Consultant

Why are you running?-I’m running because there are big national and statewide issues like; women’s reproductive rights, sensible gun legislation, enforceable environmental protections, and PreK to College education that need urgent attention. Then, there are more specific District 98 concerns like affordable housing, traffic, residential and commercial development, and historically underserved African American neighborhoods. Both state and local District 98 issues need the help of aligned community organizations, concentrated media attention, work with local town boards, and citizen reinforcement to make meaningful results in our partisan legislature. I would use my years of marketing skills to create new avenues of communication that can bring attention to these important topics. Clear, consistent messaging, pushing for legal remedies and using non-profits and business networks to achieve our goals.

What is the most important issue in your District and how will you address it?-I’ve been running for NC House District 98 for just over a year, and there is no other subject that has clear support across the board from every woman I talk to. We need to restore women’s reproductive rights to North Carolina voters! Why does this subject rank clearly above all others? Because it’s about the CONTROL of women’s bodies, their futures, and their privacy. The appalling NC SB 20 bill that makes public knowledge of our bodily functions (including the date of a woman’s last period!) and puts them into a state database, strangely aligns itself to a digital scarlet letter “A,” except this one stands for abortion. Moreover, this database does not contain information on who got the women pregnant in the first place! The database is in direct conflict with our HIPAA laws. These legislators need to get their noses out of our bedrooms and get to work focusing on how to improve education, address global warming and to get weapons of war off our streets. I want to bring sanity and dignity back to a chamber that has glorified hyper-partisanship. ALL citizens should feel like they have representation in Raleigh. We need loud, clear voices that can make a difference. I want to provide messaging and professional marketing tactics to let women know that we must come together to make a change.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-No. Currently, we have Indian casinos in North Carolina, and the state just introduced legalized sports wagering. There is a push to develop casinos in order to take advantage of entertainment and tourism revenue. I feel that we need to focus on providing tourism funds to the state based on our natural beauty and cultural arts and history programs. We should not have to manage the negative effects and costs of gambling casinos, such as: increased traffic, additional infrastructure, increased crime, and compulsive pathological gambling.

What if any changes should we make to NC alcohol laws? Adults 21 and over should be able to purchase alcohol on Sunday at stores and at bars and restaurants. Happy Hour drinks should be allowed early in the evening for a limited time and should be stopped a certain amount of hours, well before closing time, giving customers time to reduce the effects of their drinks.

House District 105

Yolonda Holmes (D)

What is your occupation?-Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Family and Community Engagement Services Specialist)

Why are you running?-I am running for this office because the NC General Assembly needs real people with real life experience that can execute actionable perspectives. In 2022, I campaigned against Tricia Cotham. I filed the paperwork to serve in March for a primary race occurring in May. In that short time, I was able to assemble a team, mobilize and execute a strong grassroots effort. This hard work resulted in a vote difference of 826 between the campaigns. Think for a moment, less than 1,000 votes contributed to the political landscape of North Carolina today. Sharing my commitment to serving constituents for the betterment of North Carolina is my goal. I stand on principle, and I am committed to serving House District 105, not a personal agenda.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-As a servant leader, my goals for NC include constituent priorities that span the state of North Carolina. Even though legislators represent a designated subset of the state’s population, the enacted legislation becomes law for every individual statewide. For that reason, my priorities will include efforts that support equitable, accessible, and affordable healthcare for all, especially marginalized populations. Livable Wages, Voting Rights, and Equity in Education are also top priorities as these factors present real daily challenges with long-term impact. Healthcare is often expensive and inaccessible. People are often discouraged from seeking healthcare because of these factors. As it relates to women, the government should not interfere in the relationship between a woman and her healthcare provider. Initiatives supporting health equity across the board is an absolute necessity. Funding for education to promote equitable learning environments and opportunities is a must. The future implications of not addressing educational inequality have yet to unfold. A pragmatic and strategic approach to rectify existing inequities will help to reduce the realization of this in the future. Additionally and most importantly, living wages, job growth and expansion for financial sustainability are pertinent to the economy as well as the well-being of individuals and families. Lastly, the expansion of restrictions to voting across the nation as well as barriers to voting is truly disheartening. The “Triple R Initiative’', Restriction(s), Requirement(s) and Redistricting, as I refer to it, was intentional and designed to continue the marginalization of certain populations or groups of individuals. Securing a win for these priorities requires determination, execution of innovative strategies, collaboration and a leader that stands on principle. I respect the votes cast by the people who have elected and trusted me to be their representative and voice. I will not betray that trust.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-There may be various pros and cons to having casinos. I don’t frequent them. Therefore, more in-depth knowledge and research is required on this topic prior to making a statement regarding the legalization of casinos in NC.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?- I’m not a consumer of alcohol, this is a topic that I would need to research more to understand North Carolina’s current alcohol laws before making a statement on any reforms.


Terry Landsell (R)

What is your occupation?-Director Non-profit.

Why are you running?-To impact existing laws that impact our community and how we transport ourselves socially, economically, and on our transportation network.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Transportation laws and funding priorities for Charlotte/Mecklenburg and its relationship to land use, affordable housing, economic viability, and the environment. I have policies and bills ready to restore priorities before the Republican super-majority of 2013-2023.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-Yes, but we should also push to recognize the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and allow them full access and freedoms that the Cherokee Nation is granted.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-We need to improve traffic enforcement to reduce the use of alcohol while driving. We will need to roll back the delivery of alcoholic beverages through third-party delivery services and ensure that our courts system is regulated and funded to support these types of dangerous behaviors.

Nicole Sidman (D)

What is your occupation-Director at Non-Profit

Why are you running-In the years I have lived in North Carolina it’s been exhausting to watch our rights be stripped away by those in power in Raleigh. Whether it is refusing to fund our schools, denying women access to healthcare and bodily autonomy, legislating against LGBTQ+ rights, or hampering free and fair access to the polls with gerrymandered maps and confusing voting requirements, I believe that we need to fight the tide of extremism and work for a North Carolina that is for all its citizens. I have worked behind the scenes for years empowering, connecting and serving the community. But, when I found out my neighborhood was included in Tricia Cotham’s new district I decided it was time to step up and run for office. The stakes are so high, but the path to victory is clear. We need to take this stolen seat back to break the supermajority. I am running because I believe I have the experience, the commitment and the integrity to win this race and make sure that my neighborhood is not represented by someone who betrayed her voters. I can be trusted to do what I say and to lead with integrity, honesty and always an eye to service.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Although not unique to District 105, my district is emblematic of the issue of gerrymandering and the current focus of power over governance. I believe we must make it easier to vote, not harder. When I’m elected I will continue working to educate voters about the issues, fight to increase access to the ballot box, and support policies that ensure our voters pick their leaders rather than leaders picking their voters. I support appointing a non-partisan coalition to draw our maps so gerrymandering to reward certain politicians doesn’t happen. It’s how this new HD 105 was created and it’s not right. Without fair maps and honest representatives, none of the other issues that matter so much to my district - reproductive freedom, fully funding schools, support for affordable housing and infrastructure - happen. There is a lot of cynicism and disillusionment with politics these days, but because the residents of HD 105 were betrayed by their current representative or gerrymandered out of their current representation because of the GOP’s attempt to retain power, I will ensure that my leadership is transparent. I will be an honest, hard working and trustworthy voice in Raleigh because that is what every voter, no matter their party affiliation, deserves.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-There is already legalized gambling in North Carolina, so the issue of legalizing casinos must be evaluated considering what has already been approved here. Casinos come with several benefits. They provide jobs and increase tourism and hospitality industries. But there is a dark side to gambling as well. And our current state representative hasn’t addressed these issues, including crime and the economic impact on the individual citizens, brought about by casinos. Furthermore, in an attempt to benefit particular representative districts, the Republican majority looked to legalize casinos without conducting open and transparent debate on gambling in North Carolina. With one casino already open in Speaker of the House Tim Moore’s district, and another proposed in Republican Senate leader Phil Berger’s district, the people of North Carolina deserve to know more about the effects of gambling in their communities before any decisions are made.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-Alcohol policy in North Carolina is antiquated, with many laws on the books from the Prohibition era, as well as ‘blue laws’ introduced by social conservatives. In growing communities like ours, social districts are a new innovation that is good for business. We should make sure these districts remain safe and pedestrian-friendly so they can be enjoyed by visitors and continue to be a boon for local businesses. However, as we modernize these policies we should also consider using more revenue from ABC sales to prevent drunk driving and accidents caused by alcohol abuse, as well as improved education on the adverse health effects of alcohol abuse.

House District 106

Carla Cunningham (D)

What is your occupation?-BSN, RN

Why are you running?-I am a native North Carolinian, a mother of two adult children, a widow and a nurse that is passionate about quality-of-life issues impacting North Carolinians and I am committed to helping make people lives better in our state.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-My constituents are concern about crime and gun violence. It is my hope that legislation needed by local Law Enforcement will be crafted with local government at the table on the crime and gun violence uptick. I will be supportive of legislation brought to me addressing these issues. On gun violence I will continue to support Universal Background Checks and Red Flag legislation.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-I think we need to consider another revenue source to offset tax cuts. Additionally, people are crossing the border daily to visit the Casino in Virginia. That’s revenue leaving our state.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-SENATE BILL 527: ABC Omnibus 2023 Would probably be a positive path for Alcohol Beverage Reform- It would allow counties and municipalities to decide if ABC stores operate on Sundays, happy hours, and alcohol delivery from bars and restaurants. The prohibition on happy hours would end. Local government leaders would have the authority to create ordinances and determine what changes are best for their city and county.

Vermanno Bowman (D)

What is your occupation?-Greenhouse Assistant and Military Police Officer in the NC Army National Guard

Why are you running?-I’m running for NC State House District 106 to be a voice for the voiceless and to represent the working and middle class citizens of my district who’ve been left behind by career politicians. I have stood up for those who struggle to make ends meet and have always been a strong advocate for climate change in my community. I’ve decided to run against Representative Cunningham because she has become complacent in her over 10 yrs in office. Representative Cunningham missed over 300 votes (43%) in the general assembly in the 2021-2022 session alone, in last years session she has voted with Republicans over 70% of the time and even on partisan issues such as the recently passed state budget bill. Representative Cunningham has shown us time and time again that she can’t toe the party line. Which is why I’m running for NC House District 106 to be a strong progressive leader in my district.

What is the most important issue you want to tackle in your district and how will you address it?-Some of my policy priorities if elected to the North Carolina General Assembly will be raising the state minimum wage of $16 hr and going up from there, banning all new fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure to combat the effect of climate change, expand affordable homes and end the practice of large corporations buying residential properties and raising prices, enact term limits on members of the General Assembly and to increase funding to our public schools. These policies are important to me because they are what North Carolina needs to move forward and make real progress to improve the lives of millions of working and middle-class families in our state. My plans for achieving these goals is to gain the support of my caucus to be a unified front in passing the proposed policies and to gain traction and have the support of a broad coalition of voters in my district and throughout the state.

Should North Carolina legalize casinos?-No, I do not believe North Carolina should legalize casinos.

What if any reforms should be made to North Carolina’s alcohol laws?-I believe that North Carolina alcohol laws should be changed to allow ABC stores to operate on Sundays, which in return will increase state revenue.

Did Not Respond: Jaime Daniell (R), Woodsen Bradley (D), Melinda Bales (R), Angela White Edwards (R), Tricia Cotham (R), Felicia Tompkins (D), Justin Dues (D), and Allan Baucomb (R).

See the statewide election guide at this link

See more information on voting locations in Mecklenburg County by clicking here.

(WATCH BELOW: PART 1--The Political Beat with Ch. 9′s Joe Bruno (February 11, 2024))