N.C. House 54 candidates talk issues, candidacies

Posted 9/25/20

George Gilson Jr.

Why are you seeking this office?

I am seeking this office because we are at a pivotal point in time where we need conservative, common sense leadership at all levels of …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

N.C. House 54 candidates talk issues, candidacies

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.

Posted

George Gilson Jr.

Why are you seeking this office?

I am seeking this office because we are at a pivotal point in time where we need conservative, common sense leadership at all levels of government. We need a leader who will fight for fiscal constraint, who is not afraid to fight for what is right despite the party line. Who will support the U.S. Constitution and the NC Constitution and protect our Second Amendment rights. We need a leader who understands that we need a better education system in NC and will support and ensure that the taxes that we currently pay are being better funneled to the classroom level. We need a leader who supports jobs and the economy with economic friendly policies that create job growth in NC. We need a leader committed to protecting our environment and our water supply with a sensible, sustainable approach. We need a leader who will protect our nation, state, history and our borders, and support legal immigration while working to pass strong voter ID and voter verification laws. Last but not least, we need a leader with strong family values and faith in God who is honest, ethical, and personally accountable!

What is your understanding of the responsibilities of a state legislator, and why do you believe you’re qualified to fill that role?

A state legislator creates and ratifies state laws and regulations by working in committees, debating and voting on bills. I am qualified because I have served as a City Alderman in my past, I have been in the infrastructure industry for over 20 years and I am a doer. I would work tirelessly to read all bills presented in their entirety. I am meticulous and am not afraid to ask the hard questions and look forward at the ramifications of the policies and bills/laws presented and passed. Last but not least, I will listen and never forget that I serve the people of N.C. House District 54.

What’s working best, and what’s not working, in N.C. government?

What’s working is that N.C. has been fiscally responsible and has ran a budget surplus that has served us well in these challenging times.

What’s not working is that we are practicing too much partisanship, and not getting enough done for the state of NC and our constituents. There are too many politicians pointing fingers, not standing up for what they were elected for and their ideals and beliefs, and being controlled by the lobbyists at the detriment of the people. We need to bring honesty, ethics, and accountability back to the Legislature and to public service in NC.

What are the most significant challenges facing the state in the coming year, and how you’d plan to address them?

1) Lack of a Good Sound Voter ID Law – I would work to restore and pass a good Voter ID Law as shown necessary by the Referendum passed in NC

2) Rising Taxes and our State Budget – We need to make sure we continue to operate on a balanced budget and create surplus that can be utilized in times of need such as now. We need to stop spending on non-necessities, and plan and budget for our growth and all issues such as healthcare, education, and our economy.

3) Our State Healthcare System will be insolvent in three to four years without sound reform. We need to address this now and be proactive instead of reactive and trying to address our problems in a crisis.

4) Leandro and the budgetary ramifications of having to remedy any court order specifying how much money the General Assembly needs to spend immediately and in what manner. This will need to be discussed and a solution needs to be presented.

5) Where our taxpayer dollars are our going in the NC Educational K-12 System. I would like to see these dollars better channeled down to the classroom level, especially in the rural areas. I also am a big advocate of School Choice in NC.

Give us two goals that are specific, measurable and attainable you would have if elected:

1) Passing a strong Voter ID and Voter Verification Law

2) Addressing healthcare insolvency issues and educational reform with sensible and sustainable laws and policies for the good of the people and the state, and passing legislation that promotes and supports more competition in NC in our energy market thus driving costs down to the consumer.

Look ahead two years from now … what would you like to see the General Assembly to have accomplished in that time?

Addressing and coming up with solutions to all of the stated above challenges, and working together to pass legislation that supports and addresses these solutions instead of kicking the can down the road and leaving it for our children and our children’s children to have to deal with in crisis.

If you are not elected, what steps will you take to serve Chatham County?

I will continue to volunteer at my church, push for conservative and common-sense political reform at all levels, and raise my family to volunteer and serve in all capacities for the betterment of Chatham County and all who live here.

How do you think Gov. Cooper and the state have handled the coronavirus pandemic?

Not well. Governor Cooper made policy decisions based on a political agenda that has hurt NC businesses and the economy, and our children’s need to go back to school and learn in an environment more conducive to learning, social interaction, and keeping healthy through sports and extracurricular activities. Governor Cooper’s lack of making decisions and waiting last minute to delay Phase 3 has caused problems for planning for businesses and the NC economy, parents and their occupational needs, and teachers and schools.

What are your thoughts on this summer’s racial injustice protests and calls for action/reform?

I feel that this summer’s racial justice protests were amplified into violence and destruction by groups with political agendas such as BLM, Antifa and the likes. I support all citizen’s rights to peacefully protest and that all lives matter, but I am adamantly against social justice groups promoting and committing violence against people and destruction of property and communities in the name of social justice. I feel these groups and their violence and destruction has only increased and amplified racial divide, and their actions are not logical or justifiable no matter how you look at them.

 

What question do you want to be asked?

What sets you apart from your opponent in ideals, policy and action?

My opponent voted against removing foreign citizens from the voting rolls.

My opponent voted against the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act.

My opponent voted against the Small Business Healthcare Act.

My opponent voted against reducing the Franchise Tax (which is a tax on your business’s net worth).

My opponent voted against the reallocation of Film Grant Funds to Water Infrastructure.

My opponent voted against Instructional Material Selection, which gives parents to the right to be aware of and review and changes to health and safety curriculum in our schools.

My opponent voted against the State Health Study, which would begin reform on a State Health Plan System that will be insolvent in NC in three to four years.

I would have voted the opposite on all of these bills for the betterment of the constituents of NC House 54 and the State of NC. These votes are a true representation of the opposite of my ideals stated above in this interview questionnaire, and are truly opposite of how I will vote and behave as your State Representative for NC House 54!

Robert Reives II

Why are you seeking this office?

Public service is a passion of mine, and my pedigree has prepared me for it without separating me from the voters. I lived and grew up in some of our more economically disadvantaged areas, but have served with and became friends with some of the most economically advantaged people in the state. I can be a voice for all, and I’ve been lucky to come from a family which placed more importance on relationships than on material success.

What is your understanding of the responsibilities of a state legislator, and why do you believe you’re qualified to fill that role?

The number one priority for any public servant should be to improve the lives of the people they represent, whether that’s through robust investment in our education system, promoting legislation that respects the rights and dignity of every citizen, or protecting our green spaces and natural resources like Jordan Lake from pollution and other threats. My voting record reflects these values and will continue to if I’m re-elected.

What’s working best, and what’s not working, in N.C. government?

Like every state, North Carolina faces immediate challenges with regards to the COVID pandemic that are unprecedented in modern times. While we’ve had our ups and downs, I applaud the actions which have ensured that our state hasn’t suffered the high number of deaths or rate of infections seen in places like Georgia, Texas and Florida. If we continue listening to the advice of medical and scientific professionals, we can weather this situation.

I would like to see more partisan balance in the legislature. Since the breaking of the Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly in 2018, leaders from both parties have been forced to work together in order to enact legislation. This is a good thing, but we need more. I believe fairer districts will help bring this about.

What are the most significant challenges facing the state in the coming year, and how you’d plan to address them?

Again, the pandemic has impacted every area of public policy, and we need to meet those challenges by ensuring that everyone has reliable access to healthcare, that we are working toward a sustainable reopening which will allow our economy to rebound, and that our children and educators can do their work in safe but academically rigorous way. Broadband policy has to be changed immediately. Calls for reform of the criminal justice system must also be heeded — we can do things like examine the ability of people to pay fines and assessments so we are not criminalizing poverty, and we can ensure that the system as a whole — from prosecutors offices to to magistrate and judicial officers — are diverse and as representative as possible of the communities they serve.

Give us two goals that are specific, measurable and attainable you would have if elected:

• 1: Our budgets should reflect education as a priority, and recent budgets have failed to do so. We should increase teacher pay to the national average, empower local communities to make decisions about what works for them regarding education, and be wary of attempts to privatize education or divert tax funds away from public schools through unnecessary charter school funding or so-called vouchers.

• 2: I will support the establishment of a nonpartisan redistricting commission. Voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.

Look ahead two years from now … what would you like to see the General Assembly to have accomplished in that time?

First and foremost, I’d like to see that our state and the rest of the nation have both gotten past this pandemic so we are no longer worried on a daily basis about the lives and health of ourselves, our friends and our families. I would like to see a budget which reflect education as a priority, and I would like to see important reforms to our criminal justice system implemented. I would like to see us move toward fairer elections by allowing a nonpartisan redistricting commission draw our political maps after the 2020 cycle, and I would like to see everyone have access to healthcare, broadband and an affordable public education.

If you are not elected, what steps will you take to serve Chatham County?

I’ll continue to serve my community in my career as an attorney, which allows me to help everyone navigate the court system whether that’s as a party in a civil suit, a defendant in a criminal case, or a victim of a crime. I’ll also continue to volunteer my time to organizations which are working to improve life for everyone in Chatham County.

How do you think Gov. Cooper and the state have handled the coronavirus pandemic?

I don’t envy anyone having to make the difficult decisions faced by Governor Cooper, but I’ve learned not only from him but from other governors who have taken different paths that it’s wisest to err on the side of caution, and that we should continue listening to the voices who understand this pandemic best – doctors, scientists and qualified healthcare professionals.

What are your thoughts on this summer’s racial injustice protests and calls for action/reform?

Calls for change are important, but action is more important. The most obvious place to start is with our criminal justice system. I worked as a prosecutor for five years, and I was lucky to work for an elected district attorney that was incredibly progressive in the area of race relations – we were a diverse staff empowered with discretion to take different approaches to situations. This allowed for both victims and the accused to be heard so that we could achieve justice and fairness. I would like to see more prosecutors offices operate in this way.

What question do you want to be asked?

Why is diversity important to have in government? Why is it important to return civil discourse to our governmental process? Why is it important to return some governmental offices and operations to be in nonpartisan?

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Subscribe to The Chatham Brew now to get the latest news from Chatham County straight to your inbox.

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )

Get your digital subscription today.

Access all content on our website, including our e-edition, at a discounted rate while also being environmentally friendly.

Get your 1-year digital subscriptions for only $39.
That's just 10¢ per day for the great coverage of your local news!

Subscribe now