Name as it appears on the ballot: Adam B. Wright
Campaign website: www.wrightfornc.com
Phone number: 919-906-4480
Years lived in the district: 7
1. In your view, what are the three most pressing issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what will you do to address these issues?
North Carolina’s three most pressing issues are gerrymandering, education spending, and healthcare. If elected, I will propose that all future election maps be drawn by computer algorithm or by an independent
. I will fight to raise teacher pay to the national average and obtain our schools the funding they need to have adequate infrastructure. I will also vote to expand Medicaid.
2. If you are challenging an incumbent, what decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with?
This would be a tie for me. Chris Malone wanted to cut unemployment benefits when our state needed them the most. He also was for HB2 before he was against it. He has proven to be a rubber stamp for the Republican party. That is not the leadership our district deserves.
3. The state’s economy seems to be humming along nicely. How much of that do you attribute to the tax cuts enacted over the past several years? What policies would you like to see put in place to ensure growth going forward?
I do not attribute much of it to the tax cuts. The country, as a whole, is doing well. I attribute the economic success to a combination of NC having such an educated workforce and having two of the nation’s best cities – Charlotte and Raleigh. I have developed a plan that will make it easier for new small businesses to obtain the startup funding that they can no longer get due to the lack of community banks.
4. On the other hand, much of the wealth has gone to the state’s urban centers, whereas many rural areas are struggling. While this is in many ways a national phenomenon, what can North Carolina do to address the disparities in prosperity within its borders? We need to end the economic flight from our rural areas. We need to empower the rural areas to create areas that will keep their money in their areas. This starts with rural broadband. Currently, there is a ban on municipalities being able to provide internet services. Removing this ban can provide towns an opportunity to lure in tech and services businesses that are not currently available to them.
5. Republicans in the legislature have boasted in recent years of increased school expenditures and raising teacher pay, some local officials, particularly in urban areas, have complained that it’s not good enough. Do you think North Carolina’s schools are being adequately funded? If not, what taxes would you be willing to raise—or what services would you be willing to cut—to fund them better?
We have a lot of evidence that our schools are not being adequately funded. However, to properly determine that, I want to conduct a proper adequacy study. That will allow us to know exactly where our funding should be. Based on that determination, then we can figure out where the revenue will come from. We already have a large amount of funding going to our rainy-day fund. Since that fund is now well stocked, we can divert some of that excess funding into our schools. I do not seek to raise taxes on anyone. I do, if needed, want to create new avenues of revenue. A smart area that we could tap into first would be legalizing and taxing aerial fireworks.
6. In a similar vein, there has been a movement in recent years toward “school choice” programs such as vouchers and charter schools. Critics say these programs detract from traditional schools and may even exacerbate segregation. Do you support these programs and believe they need to be expanded? School choice has been shown to increase segregation, not fix it.
I do not agree with these programs as they currently stand. Before charter schools receive taxpayer funds they need to abide by the same standards as public schools. They can have their own curriculum but not different standards.
7. Do you believe the state of North Carolina should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act? If so, do you believe that expansion should come with the work requirements the Trump administration is now permitting?
Yes, we should expand Medicaid. The work requirements are unnecessary and I do not agree with it.
8. After the Parkland mass shooting, Florida passed a law raising the age of all gun sales to twenty-one and requiring a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases. There have also been calls to limit magazine sizes or ban assault-style rifles. North Carolina has fairly permissive gun laws. Do you believe the state’s gun laws need to be changed? If so, in what ways?
I feel that the best way to handle this issue is on a state by state basis. Yes, our laws should be changed. We should pass “red flag” laws that allow law enforcement to determine if someone is a threat to society and should have their guns removed from them. I want to see common sense proposals when it comes to guns. I grew up a hunter and like shooting guns. I am not antigun. I am for smarter gun laws.
9. Currently, twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum. North Carolina is not among them. Do you believe North Carolina should raise its minimum wage―or, alternatively, give municipalities the ability to raise minimum wages within their jurisdictions?
I do support raising the minimum wage. No one should have to work for less than a living wage. I believe that the people are really the “job creators”. They are the ones out there spending money and creating demand. We need to make sure that they have money to be able to live. That will create jobs.
10. The replacement bill for HB 2 that passed last year prohibits local governments from passing living-wage or nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020. It seems likely that this legislature will set limits on how much freedom local governments will have. Did you support the HB 2 replacement? Why or why not? And what restrictions, if any, do you believe the legislature should place on local governments when that moratorium expires?
I believe that a full repeal of HB 2 is needed. We should allow local elected officials to be able to run their municipality how they best see fit.
11. Over the last year, the state has frequently found itself in court over its legislative and congressional districts, which courts have ruled racial and, in the latter case, partisan gerrymanders. Do you believe the state’s legislative and congressional districts have been drawn fairly? Do you believe the process itself is fair? If not, how would you suggest changing it? I am positive that the congressional districts have been drawn unfairly. Rep. David Lewis has stated as much. Out of almost 24,000 ways to draw our maps about 99% of them give Republicans less than 10 seats. I do not want maps that give either party an advantage. I just want fair maps.
12. While other states have relaxed their prohibitions on marijuana and raised revenues by taxing either recreational or medicinal cannabis, North Carolina has not. What sort of reforms, if any, would you support with regard to marijuana policy?
We should legalize marijuana and tax it. It is long past the time to end the war on drugs. We need to quit allowing drug cartels to enrich themselves. We should use the new-found tax revenue to pay fund our schools properly and provide better benefits to first responders. Maybe even cut taxes if we have enough left over.
13. Give an example of a time, during your political career, when you have changed your position as a result of a discussion with someone who held an opposing view.
My personal story is a great example of me changing my views. I at one time was a conservative Republican. After losing my job, leading me to have to take unemployment, and then hearing Obama at his inauguration, I started to evolve my view into a more liberal perspective.
14. What would you do to address the partisan rancor in the General Assembly? In what ways do you believe you can effectively work across party lines?
We need to end gerrymandering. That will go a long way to reducing the extremes we see in the GA. I may have many liberal ideas, I do have many moderate ideas. If I am blessed enough to make it into the GA, I will gladly reach across the aisle to do what is best for my district and the state.
15. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some points with voters.
I want to honor our state’s constitution and make our state colleges as free as we can make them. Article IX Sec. 9 of our state college states “The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.” We should honor that.