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Learn everything you need to know about voting in the upcoming election, including how to vote in person or through the mail as well as local candidates' positions on various issues and why they think you should vote for them.

N.C. House Of Representatives

WFAE asked candidates for Charlotte-area seats on the North Carolina General Assembly questions about why they should be elected (or reelected). Here are the answers we've received so far from state House of Representatives candidates.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 88

MARY BELK, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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N.C. General Assembly
Mary Belk

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

My top priority for 2020 is to expand Medicaid in North Carolina because it will unlock $10 billion per year in federal health care funding that will help us respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, provide health coverage for tens of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs, and protect working-class families from the threat of medical bankruptcy.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

First, we should immediately reinstate the $535 maximum benefit per week, and allow up to 26 weeks of unemployment coverage. When I look at the current unemployment system, it needs a complete overhaul, including a website that gives clear and detailed information about any problems that need to be fixed with a claim, customer service personnel that understand both the system and the steps required to fix problems and offices in every county where people can go and speak face to face with a person who is empowered to clear "red flags" in the system immediately.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I am fully supportive of the temporary measures the legislature approved and the State Board of Elections is implementing, including the absentee ballot request website, drop boxes for ballots at local Boards of Elections, and funding for additional hours and locations for early voting. I also supported the SBOE settlement that put ballot collection boxes at early vote locations and allowed voters to sign an affidavit if there was a problem with their witness information.
In the future, we need to expand our automatic voter registration system to include any interaction with state services, not just at the DMV.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

I support the creation of an independent bipartisan commission, chaired by members of the Judiciary, whose members could not include anyone who has been elected from a district subject to the commission's authority for at least 10 years. The commission would draw three to five sets of maps without using any partisan, election or demographic information, except to check that the maps they have drawn do not violate the Voting Rights Act. The legislature will choose one set of maps and accept them in an up or down vote. If the commission and the legislature cannot come to an agreement on the maps, the state Supreme Court would be asked to appoint an independent "special master" to draw the districts.

Additional information about Mary Belk can be found here.

DAVID TONDREAU, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

Information about David Tondreau can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 92

TERRY BROWN, DEMOCRAT

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Terry Brown for NC House
Terry Brown

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Education will be my top priority. North Carolina needs to fully fund our public schools. Growing up as the son of two lifelong public-school educators, I remember the days when North Carolina was the benchmark for education in the Southeast. I am also uniquely aware of the issues that educators go through in the state. As a legislator, I believe that we should do everything we can to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent. That means we need to reinstitute the advanced degree pay, bring teacher pay up to the national average, and reinstitute regular step bonuses for our teachers. Our legislature also needs to bring back the prestigious Teaching Fellows program to ensure that those who are dedicated to our students are not shackled by student debt and have an incentive to remain in the school system. The legislature must pass sustainable funding for teachers’ assistants and other support staff including bus drivers and cafeteria staff. Our current tax structure has shifted over $3 billion away from our classrooms. That money is robbing our state of its future. Finally, we must ensure that the education lottery is only used for what it was intended -- providing funding to our schools.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how ill equipped we were to deal with an unexpected crisis. Thankfully, North Carolina hasn’t experienced the high spikes in cases like our neighbors. Regardless, our state has been significantly and irreparably impacted, especially our small businesses and local workers. Countless Mecklenburg County residents struggled. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, including over 40,000 in Mecklenburg County, have applied for unemployment benefits. North Carolina’s unemployment benefits are among the lowest in the nation. This is due to the General Assembly’s 2013 cuts to unemployment benefits. Now, seven years later, the effects of this legislation are dealing a crippling blow to many families (in addition to the slow pace of the federal government’s response to extending unemployment benefits). Further, many of our small businesses have had to close because they were unable to receive the aid they so desperately needed.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

Voting is the hallmark of our democracy and it should be secure and accessible. We know that this pandemic will be with us for some time. I will work with my colleagues in both parties to draft legislation that will 1, increase funding to the (North Carolina State Board of Elections) to ensure poll workers are protected with the proper personal protective equipment and have access to rapid COVID tests; 2, working to ensure that the formerly incarcerated are able to vote with no restrictions; 3, continue to increase early voting locations and voting times.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

North Carolina deserves an independent nonpartisan redistricting commission. Full stop. Gerrymandering is wrong no matter which party does it. Politicians should not choose their voters. This state deserves to have congressional and legislative lines drawn that are free of racial and socioeconomic bias. The only way that will happen is if we have an independent redistricting.

Additional information about Terry Brown can be found here.

JERRY MUNDEN, R

Responses not yet received.
Information about Jerry Munden can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 98

JOHN R. BRADFORD III, REPUBLICAN

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Elect Bradford
John R. Bradford III

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

We need to get our economy moving again as quickly and safely as possible. I am a small business owner twice over. My two companies understand, first hand, the value of creating and maintaining jobs in a safe manner while still serving the needs of our customers. When I served in Raleigh I was the chairman of Regulatory Reform, so I have experience making sure we remove burdensome regulations so business owners can get down to business. We still have many small businesses in N.C. that are unable to open due to the governor's current executive orders. We must find a way to help them reopen safely so they, too, can pay their bills and not reach economic ruin.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

If we focus on getting our economy moving again as quickly and safely as possible then this will create jobs so that people on unemployment will have new job opportunities. The pandemic surfaced many shortcomings in the unemployment process including, but not limited to, a lack of basic responsiveness. Our state must make sure we are leveraging technology to make the application, review and determination process more expeditious while also ensuring we have contingent people resources available to answer questions in a timely manner.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

Voters have more time to cast their ballots than ever before in N.C. Voting in N.C. has already started with the use of absentee ballots, and early voting at the polls starts on Oct. 15. I hope all voters will exercise their right to vote.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

I support independent redistricting. The challenge, however, is identifying a true, independent methodology to draw the maps. I believe the process should include a reexamination of how districts are drawn in urban areas because they are very one-party-centric. If we truly want fair and balanced districts then this should include making sure the districts in urban centers have an opportunity of fair and balanced party representation in government. It's noteworthy that given the rise in the number of unaffiliated voter registrations and their ability to swing from one party to the next then whatever process is used will still result in a competitive landscape for both parties.

Information about John R. Bradford III can be found here.

CHRISTY CLARK, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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Christy Clark - Representative NC House District 98
Christy Clark

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

A top priority is expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. With over 500,000 North Carolinians without health care, it is shameful that we have not done this yet. Expanding Medicaid will save lives and create jobs especially in our rural counties.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

North Carolina can allow employers to file attached claims for their workers, raise the weekly benefit, change how benefits are calculated, and increase the number of weeks a person is eligible.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

As a member of the General Assembly, I voted for a bill to remove the two witnesses or notary requirement and require only one witness. The bill we passed also allows for voters to request their absentee/mail-in ballot using a website which will make it even easier to request a ballot. To supplement these steps, we could provide prepaid postage on the return envelope, install secure ballot drop boxes throughout the county to allow ballots to be securely deposited without having to go in person to the Board of Elections office or go in person to an early voting location.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

North Carolina should have a nonpartisan independent redistricting commission to draw legislative and congressional maps. Legislators should not be drawing their own districts.

Additional information about Christy Clark can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 99

NASIF MAJEED, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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MajeedNC.com
Nasif Majeed

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Medicaid expansion.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

Budget more funding to the Division of Employment Security Commission to address the increased demand for service.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I would like for election days to be designated as work-free days specifically for voting.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

Maps should be drawn by legislators with the caveat that all districts must be contiguous and absolutely not gerrymandered.

Additional information about Nasif Majeed can be found here.

RUSSELL ROWE, REPUBLICAN

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Shrink government.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

At this moment I am not certain but would like to streamline anything that can be made easier.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I am not in office yet and cannot do anything but to tell people to vote.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

I am not versed in this matter therefore I decline to give my opinion.

Additional information about Russell Rowe can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 100

JOHN AUTRY, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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N.C. General Assembly
John Autry

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Expand Medicaid/restore funding for public education to 1970 portion of the general fund/protect our natural environment.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

Replace a system designed to deny and exclude as many people as possible with one more equitable that is designed to help people.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I would have preferred that the state provide return postage for mail-in (absentee-by-mail) ballots. Waive photo ID for this cycle. Expand early in-person voting. Enact same-day registration on Election Day.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

An independent nonpartisan system. Legislators should not be picking their voters.

Additional information about John Autry can be found here.

KALLE THOMPSON, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

Information about Kalle Thompson can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 101

CAROLYN G. LOGAN, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

Responses not yet received.

Information about Carolyn Logan can be found here.

STEVE MAUNEY, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

Information about Steve Mauney can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 102

BECKY CARNEY, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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N.C. General Assembly
Becky Carney

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Medicaid expansion continues to be one of my top priorities. It is the kind of public policy that should receive bipartisan support in any political climate. Expanding Medicaid will grow the economy and close coverage gaps for more than 700,000 people in North Carolina. In this pandemic crisis, it's needed more than ever.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

North Carolina's unemployment system is not framed to allow workers to respond appropriately to public health guidelines without fear of economic catastrophe when a global pandemic hits. No business can survive without a disaster recovery plan in place. COVID-19 has shown us that our state unemployment system is no different.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

In N.C. every registered voter has several opportunities to cast their ballot. You can vote by absentee ballot, at designated early voting sites from Oct. 15-31, and on election day, Nov. 3, at your precinct. Educating the public on these options is critically important. Your vote is your voice.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

I support an independent redistricting commission. We have wasted a lot of time, money and political energy, at the expense of the citizens, by having partisan politicians draw their own reelection maps. Truly nonpartisan redistricting is needed to set the stage for fairness and representation for the next 10 years for all.

Additional information about Becky Carney can be found here.

KYLE KIRBY, REPUBLICAN

Kyle Kirby
Kyle Kirby

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

My No. 1 priority is ensuring economic opportunity for the people in my district. I would pursue a compromise between Republicans and Democrats wherein Republicans would agree to hold a referendum on Medicaid expansion, and Democrats would reciprocate by helping cut taxes and regulations. This compromise package would ensure that North Carolina helps the most vulnerable and also attracts businesses.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

I would not be reflexively opposed to an increase in the benefits available and the duration for which they can be received. However, we need to carefully balance the needs of the unemployed with a consideration of whether benefits are disincentivizing work. As for the process, there are plenty of improvements to be made. North Carolina is among the worst in the country for delivering benefits in a timely matter, with many people not receiving benefits until weeks after their application. I support investing in our state's unemployment infrastructure and potentially delegating components of the process to municipal and county governments.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

The General Assembly should create a bipartisan commission consisting of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent agreed upon by the majority and minority leaders in each chamber. This commission should provide recommendations for drawing district maps.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

The General Assembly should create a bipartisan commission consisting of two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent agreed upon by the majority and minority leaders in each chamber. This commission should provide recommendations for drawing district maps.

Additional information about Kyle Kirby can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 103

BILL BRAWLEY, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

RACHEL HUNT, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

Rachel Hunt
Rachel Hunt

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

My top priority is to allow access to health care to all of our people by expanding Medicaid. We currently have over 500,000 North Carolinians without health insurance. People are dying every day in North Carolina because they can’t afford health care. We have lost over 3,400 people to the coronavirus already. Enough is enough.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

The only compromise the majority party would make in this last CARES package was to a $50-week increase in unemployment. This is not enough. People are suffering due to COVID. People are angry because their businesses aren’t allowed to reopen, yet they have no way of making money. Our state has one of the worst unemployment systems in the country. I support increasing the amount of unemployment benefits and the length of time unemployment benefits.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I support making voting as easy as possible. It should not be difficult to vote in our country. I applaud the use of 30 early voting sites in Mecklenburg County and the 15-day time period for early voting. I support allowing people to fix errors on their ballots and correct their mistakes. I also support allowing absentee ballots to be postmarked by Nov. 3 and if they arrive at the Board of Elections by Nov. 12, then they should be counted.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

Our politicians should not have the right to choose their own voters. Only voters should have the power to swing elections in this state and country. That is why I fully support a nonpartisan commission tasked with drawing competitive and nonpartisan districts. I know I am joined by many people on both sides of the aisle and I hope that we can all come together and end this era of hyper-partisan gerrymandering.

Additional information about Rachel Hunt can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 104

BRANDON LOFTON, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

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N.C. General Assembly
Brandon Lofton

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

Right now, our state is facing significant challenges. Our schools lack the funding they need to effectively and equitably educate our children, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians lack access to affordable health care, our unemployment system is the least generous in the nation and our voters are repeatedly targeted into gerrymandered districts. Our ability to address these challenges is weakened by our politics. Instead of negotiating or working through differences, our legislative leaders deploy surprise votes and other tactics. I ran for office in 2018 to help end this culture in our legislature and it remains a top priority for me. We are facing serious challenges in our state. We may disagree on the best approach to address these challenges. However, we should always govern rooted in the recognition that we are here to serve.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

North Carolina has the least generous unemployment system in the country. Our weekly benefits are below the national average. At 12 weeks, the duration of benefits in North Carolina is below the 26 weeks offered by most states. Only 10.5% of unemployed workers receive unemployment benefits in North Carolina. This is the lowest rate in the nation. In addition, the process for receiving benefits in North Carolina can be unduly burdensome and cause delays in receiving benefits. These problems hurt North Carolinians before the pandemic and prove especially harmful during the pandemic. I supported legislation to help improve the process for obtaining unemployment benefits during COVID-19, including permitting attached claims and increasing capacity for the Division of Employment Security. In addition to bringing our benefits in line with national standards, we must make the process of obtaining benefits more efficient.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I cosponsored the Bipartisan Elections Act 2020, which provides more options for absentee voting this election, provides funds to boards of elections to help keep voters safe and provides for the development of safety protocols by the Department of Health and Human Services. These measures are important tools to help North Carolina voters safely cast their ballots this election. Additionally, I support measures by the State Board of Elections to expand sites for early voting. We must ensure that every voter in North Carolina can exercise their right to vote.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

Ending gerrymandering in North Carolina must be one of our top priorities. Our legislature has repeatedly worked to silence voters by drawing partisan and racially gerrymandered districts. I support independent, nonpartisan redistricting and cosponsored legislation to establish this process in North Carolina.

Additional information about Brandon Lofton can be found here.

DON POMEROY, REPUBLICAN

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ElectDonPomeroy
Don Pomeroy

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

As your representative, and leveraging my 30-plus years of business, financial and volunteer experience, my first priority will be to reinvigorate and expand North Carolina’s economic prosperity, job growth, and pro-business, pro-entrepreneurship atmosphere. Of course, to ensure a vibrant economy, our state needs to have strong educational institutions, safe communities, and for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, resources to ease the growing pains of our popular city. Charlotte and N.C. should be a place where everyone can achieve the American dream.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

First, I want to thank and applaud the team that worked so hard to handle the unexpected and drastic spike in unemployment claims earlier this year. Managing through such a unique situation took dedication and commitment and was understandably stressful for staff, claimants and everyone involved. News accounts stated some of the difficulty in handling the spike in claims could be traced to outdated systems and processes. Therefore, to start, I would support potential updates to the systems to ensure the department has proper tools to process claims in a timely manner, including the ability to handle spikes during economic downturns, so that claimants promptly receive the help they need.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

Boards of elections should continue communicating across the state about the available voting methods. In addition to the high level of familiarity with early voting and election day processes and schedules, the 1,000,000-plus absentee ballot requests so far indicate voters have learned about and are using this method at record levels as well. I would encourage the state and county boards of elections to continue promoting all of the voting methods together with continuing online access for absentee ballot requests.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

According to our state Constitution, the N.C. General Assembly is responsible for revising the district maps after each decennial census. The process used should be transparent and open to the citizens of North Carolina. For example, broadcasting the process online in 2019 and the online comment periods added favorable opportunities for citizens to provide feedback and ask questions at key points of the process.

Additional information about Don Pomeroy can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 105

AMY BYNUM, REPUBLICAN

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Amy Bynum for NC House 105
Amy Bynum

What is your top priority as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly?

To assure that the next generation of North Carolinians may enjoy the freedoms that I have enjoyed growing up here.

What would you do to improve the process for people seeking unemployment?

Elect Dan Forest. All the tools to effectively administer the process have been available and the governor has refused to use it.

What would you do to make sure every voter in the state has an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming election?

I believe the legislature had taken steps to make sure there is integrity in the process and I’d make sure there were steps to assure all votes have been cast accurately.

What method do you think should be used to draw new district maps in North Carolina?

I believe the legislature using proper data is the best way to assure proper maps.

Additional information about Amy Bynum can be found here.

WESLEY HARRIS, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

Responses not yet received.

Information about Wesley Harris can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 106

CARLA CUNNINGHAM, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

Responses not yet received.

Information about Carla Cunnigham can be found here.

GEOVANI SHEROW, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

Information about Geovani Sherow can be found here.

NC HOUSE DISTRICT 107

KELLY ALEXANDER, DEMOCRAT (incumbent)

Responses not yet received.

Information about Kelly Alexander can be found here.

RICHARD RIVETTE, REPUBLICAN

Responses not yet received.

Information about Richard Rivette can be found here.