Last updated: April 11. 2014 11:34AM - 1132 Views
By Amanda Moss amoss@civitasmedia.com

Gene McLaurin
Gene McLaurin
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Sen. Gene McLaurin, Rep. Ken Goodman and Rep. Garland Pierce know where they stand in the North Carolina General Assembly.

The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research released its findings this week from its legislative effectiveness survey.

The survey took place from October through December and considered the effectiveness of North Carolina legislators and ranked them according to the responses received. Those that participated in the survey were representatives, senators, lobbyists and capital news correspondents. The overall response rate was 40 percent.

McLaurin, who represents Senate District 25, which includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly counties and a portion of Rowan County, came in 33rd in the rankings among 49 senators included in the rankings. Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who died March 6 after a brief battle with cancer, was not included in the rankings.

McLaurine was sixth out of 16 Democrats included in the list, and fourth in the list of freshmen — and first Democrat freshman among five. The three Democrats ahead of him from larger metropolitan areas, not rural. McLaurin was pleased with his ranking considering that he is in the minority party and is a freshman.

“What I’m kind of proud of is that I’m the highest-ranked freshman from a rural district,” McLaurin said. “I have to admit, you kind of get a little nervous about stuff like this when you hear it’s done. I don’t want to be No. 50. When you get started, you don’t expect to be in the top. I’d like to be higher, I’m not going to deny that (but) I’m kind of proud …”

McLaurin said that he has worked continuously through his first term to continue to build relationships among legislators at the General Assembly.

“It says I’ve been able to make friends on both sides of the aisle,” McLaurin said.

Goodman, who represents House District 66 which encompasses Richmond, Scotland, Hoke and Montgomery counties, placed 66th out of 120 representatives — up from 99th last year. He was 10th amongst 43 Democrats.

“I was fairly pleased with my ranking,” Goodman said. “You still have to take it with a grain of salt. The results come from the members, so it will steer towards the party that is in power and right now that is the Republicans.”

Goodman plans to grow even more during his next term of office.

“I hope that I continue to become a more effective member,” Goodman said. “Still, my ranking, no matter what it is, will not change the way I vote on issues. I always vote for what is good for the state and the voters in my district.”

Pierce, who represents House District 48, which includes portions of Richmond, Scotland, Hoke and Robeson counties, placed 93rd out of 120 representatives. He was 23rd amongst 43 Democrats. Pierce, who has been a representative since 2005, was a bit surprised that he moved up from his rank last term at 114.

“Sometimes I push for legislation that may not be very popular, but are important to the people I represent,” Pierce said. “The numbers, though, are skewed. The party in power will have the higher rankings regardless if it’s the Democrats or Republicans. When your party is in control you’re able to move legislation. It (rankings) is something they probably should get rid of it because it doesn’t give a clear picture of who is working hard for their constituents.”

Staff writer Kevin Spradlin contributed to this story.

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