Local candidates who have filed for State Senate District 25 candidacy are placing their signs and spreading their messages.
The Daily Journal gave State Senate candidates a chance to share their top priorities and goals if elected by sending them a candidate survey to be completed and returned by April 25. Not all candidates returned a survey.
On the ballot for State Senate on May 8 you will see Republican Jack Benoy, Republican Gene McIntyre, Democrat Gene McLaurin and Democrat Daniel Wilson.
The following questions were sent to candidates, and these are their answers.
If elected, what issues are your top priority and how will you address them?
Republican Benoy said, “Jobs are what is on everyone’s mind. Young people find it harder than ever to find good paying jobs and start their careers. We have to make North Carolina an attractive place to do business. We do that with the lowest tax rate possible and by reducing regulations required by government. Government and businesses have to partner together to accomplish this. Our state is rich in natural resources, great weather, and good people. All this creates an environment that is friendly to new businesses. I would like to see smaller government, not bigger, lower taxes, not higher, and less regulations allowing opportunities, not handouts and accountability for every dollar spent. If elected, I will remember that I am there for the people of this great state of North Carolina and will strive to accomplish these goals with honesty and integrity, diligently bringing a common sense approach to decision making.”
Republican McIntyre said jobs and education are his top priorities.
“Small business is our foundation,” said McIntyre. “Government does not create jobs but it affects the cost of doing business. If elected, I will support legislation for business and individual tax reduction, continue tort reform, and support bills to improve the climate for business starts and expansions. I will support education reform that gets back to the basics and puts the focus on teaching and learning. I want to see vocational and technical education in the high schools and our community colleges. Not everyone wants to go to college. It is our responsibility to make sure students have the opportunity to gain the skills needed to enter the workforce.”
Democrat McLaurin said open government and workforce training are among his top priorities.
“I will promote job-training programs to equip today’s work force with the skills they need to perform jobs in today’s economic climate,” said McLaurin. “We need to gear our programs toward growing industries. We must also invest in our community colleges. They offer the best oversight and efficiency for retraining our workforce. Too many decisions in Raleigh are made behind closed doors. We must open up our budget process to allow more input from the public and more participation from all legislators, regardless of their party affiliation. Both parties have contributed to a culture in Raleigh that puts politics ahead of people. We must change and be more open in spending taxpayer money.”
Democrat Daniel Wilson did not return a candidate survey to the Daily Journal.
With a tight budget, how will you go about securing funds and maintaining services and programs?
Republican Benoy said, “A budget is something that not only our government is dealing with but every family in North Carolina. Most families survive by implementing good common sense. Our government should do the same. Deciding which things are necessary and which are not is top priority. Limiting new programs and reviewing every dollar spent is crucial. We need a senator that can say No to the frivolous spending going on today. Getting back to full employment will increase revenue without raising taxes. Most families cannot raise their income so they have to cut expenses in tough times; our government has to do the same.”
Republican McIntyre said, “A tax increase in a sluggish economy is not a good idea. Our taxes are already higher than our neighboring states. As government leaders, we must be more efficient with spending state tax dollars and prioritize how the money is spent. In hard times, we all have to tighten the belt and think about doing more with less. As your representative, I will in good faith make the tough decisions to have a fiscally responsible government.”
Democrat McLaurin said, “I have 15 years experience as Mayor of Rockingham and 33 years in the business world working for large international corporations and small businesses. I know how to operate within a budget in the private and public sector. I know how to build relationships, manage and motivate people, and most importantly meet a payroll. I know how to change with the economic times and operate more efficiently. I have experience finding cost savings and making performance improvements to make better use of taxpayer funds. I have a record based on building consensus and solving problems. I know how to partner with foundations and granting agencies to secure funds for maintaining and improving services. I know how to work with other governmental units and private business to develop partnerships to find alternate sources of revenue.”
Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent(s)?
Republican Benoy said, “Every candidate is worthy of respect and admiration for making themselves available to serve in the North Carolina Senate. They are all qualified and love our home state as much as I do. I am a small business owner, not a politician. I know how to balance a budget by prioritizing spending enabling growth in business which is followed by growth in jobs. Being born, raised, educated, and starting a business in North Carolina has been a blessing. I would like to leave this an even better place with even greater opportunities for our children and grandchildren.”
Republican McIntyre said, “I will support legislation to create a job friendly environment to boost our economy, improve an education system for our children with no additional spending. I have experience in government in a county that funded needed facilities throughout the county, miles of water and sewer, and merit pay for county employees with no net tax increases during my 13 years tenure. I have 33 years’ experience in education, and I will be committed to, and a strong voice for, the citizens of District 25.”
Democrat McLaurin said, “I am running for the N.C. Senate on my record of service and leadership. I will not attempt to compare my record against my opponent. I trust the voters of this district to make the right decision for our future. I will never attempt to divide the communities in our district and will not pit one community or county against another. Our citizens deserve better. I am a candidate for the N.C. Senate because I truly love and enjoy public service and helping people. I will represent all citizens in the district. To be successful in public life, you must be able to build relationships. I offer experience and a record of leadership and a teamwork approach to problem solving as well as the ability to bring people together. It would be an honor to serve as N.C. Senator for the 25th District and follow a distinguished and respected state senator like Senator Bill Purcell.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.