Name as it appears on the ballot: B.K. Maginnis

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer:  Homemaker 

Years lived in North Carolina: 46

1. What are your primary concerns for the State of North Carolina?

My primary concerns for North Carolina are the same as I have for the whole country.

A. Maintaining and preserving Democracy. This includes opposing voter suppression laws, expanding access to the ballot (including through free government-issued IDs to all voting-age citizens), and passing Federal voter protection laws. This is my top priority because, fundamentally, the right to vote should be the most essential protected right. After all, I feel we are one election cycle away from losing our democracy and becoming a one-party dominated “democracy” by Republicans, both due to structural advantages they have that are inherent in our electoral system and recent machinations within state legislatures to limit and change the will of voters. There are several other initiatives under this header, including restructuring the illegitimate SCOTUS, but maintaining and expanding the right to vote should be the only priority for all Democrats because nothing can be done if we lose the power to win elections and legislate.

B. Enforcing and extending equality. This includes shrinking the Income inequality gap that has drastically increased since the 1980s. Steps to do this would consist of an aggressive progressive tax system on the wealthy, elimination of the long-term capital gains rate for investments, a universal basic income, elimination of income tax altogether for individuals below the poverty line, and eliminating the 401k provision, replacing it with a Federal Voluntary Pension option for retirement called Social Security Plus (SS+). A subset of income inequality is shrinking the racial wealth gap, with most of the recommendations above working towards that and increasing black homeownership and black business ownership. A final subset under equality is bridging the gender income gap, including finally passing the Equal Rights Amendment, a government-required or supplemented Family and Medical Paid Leave, and enforcing regulations for equal pay. While climate change is the biggest existential crisis for the world, I think the most significant and most urgent concern for the US is finally resolving the problems created by slavery. I believe most of the United States’ essential issues today can find their root in not correctly determining the ramifications of slavery. It is not only a moral imperative, but I feel it necessary for this country to continue. We must finally make our black Americans equal, including restitution, to reach that goal.

C. Strengthening our economy. This overlaps with several items above and includes increasing high-end manufacturing in the US, helping small businesses be competitive, increasing support for job (re)training, making corporations pay their fair share in taxes, and bringing supply lines closer to home. A thriving economy with low unemployment and fair wages enforces the benefits of democracy working.

2. What is your background qualifies you to represent the people of this state effectively? What would you cite as your biggest career accomplishments?   

I think my entire life experience is what qualifies me to represent North Carolina best. I was born into a working-class family that required my parents to work two jobs each to maintain our household and quality education, including my father working 3rd shift at a convenience store. I got my first job at 14 and balanced school, athletics, and work for the rest of my high school years, so I understand the meaning of hard work and struggling to make ends meet. I entered the military, then worked my way through college, supplementing my tuition payments through student loans to understand the struggle students have both in school and after. After graduating and working on several campaigns, I started a financial planning firm from scratch, earning numerous awards over 13 years. Every day, I sat across the table, not with wealthy people trying to make them more affluent, but with families working to save for their kid’s college, planning to buy a new home, or preparing for the inevitable retirement. I built it up into a multi-million-dollar firm and sold my interest to my partner, deciding to move on to other business opportunities. However, before I could start my next venture, my wife’s career in corporate finance took off.  Opportunities for her growth meant the possibility of moving, both in and out of state. Having seen career success myself, I became a dedicated homemaker, supporting her career accomplishments by doing whatever was needed for her to achieve those goals. The planning and birth of our daughter brought on a new role, caregiver, gaining a new understanding of the struggles and problems that women and their families face when tasked as necessary breadwinners. Healthcare, childcare, and gender equality have become regular topics at the dinner table. I’ve seen how a child benefits from having parents’ home in those first few months.

3. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize, and how would you work to enact those initiatives across the aisle?

The 3 policies I would prioritize would be strengthening the ACA, including adding a public option, implementing my American Profit-Sharing Plan to put money into people’s hands, and sunsetting the 401(k) provision while replacing it with Social Security Plus (SS+).

While I think these initiatives are broad-based and benefit almost all Americans, gaining support from Republicans would be difficult. Republicans have chosen to opt-out of the Federal Government system. Despite voter suppression laws, gerrymandering, and wresting electoral decisions from non-partisan hands to maintain power in the federal government, they realize their numbers are dwindling, which is why they are now advocating for power to go back to the states. The point is, that even the best plans that may help all Americans would be difficult to pass because Republicans will do nothing that favors or gives power to the federal government. The only way to get legislation passed through the Federal Government that will benefit all Americans is to get voting rights legislation passed, returning power to all American so they can then elect representatives to pass these policies.

4. What factors fuel the country’s growing political polarization, and how will you work to mend it?

I think three main factors are increasing our country’s polarization- the urban/rural divide, the wealth inequality gap, specifically regarding African Americans, and the media (including social media). There’s not much to be done regarding slowing down the pace of movement to urban areas but what can be done is not to neglect rural areas when it comes to economic growth. Specifically, we need to eliminate and revise legislation that has been put in place over the last 40+ years that has given large corporations huge advantages over small businesses. This includes raising corporate tax rates, eliminating the 401(k) provision while replacing it with Social Security Plus (SS+), a voluntary nationalized pension running parallel with Social Security, and strengthening the ACA to sever the employer healthcare tie. We strengthen small businesses by taking away the government-created disadvantages over the last 40 years. A more competitive economic environment makes it easier for companies to open and compete in rural areas, thus creating more jobs and wealth. Several measures can reduce the wealth inequality gap. This would include creating a more equitable tax system that lessens the tax burden on lower and middle-class individuals while raising rates on the upper tax brackets. As stated above, eliminating long-term capital gains rates and sunsetting the 401(k) provision would be additional measures. Finally, implementing my American Profit-Sharing Plan (APSP), a universal basic income plan, would put dollars into everyone’s hands, specifically those who are lower-income and need additional money to sustain their lifestyle the most. Finally, misinformation by the media, and spread on social media, has caused a warping of what is truth. By implementing a new Fairness Doctrine and making social media publishers, not platforms, we can use the guardrails of our current legal system to hold these entities accountable for the misinformation they spread. By implementing all these measures, we can again work towards a united America.

5. November’s general election race is expected to be close, regardless of who wins the party primaries. What makes you an attractive choice to centrist voters?

I think my policies appeal most to progressive voters. However, my solutions are not typical for a progressive candidate. Most of my solutions involve solving issues across the political spectrum, through all demographics. Because of this, I believe I appeal to centrists on both sides of the divide and a wide swath of unaffiliated voters. Finally, while my solutions may not appeal to most Republicans, I think my forthright, blunt, and straightforward manner of talking to constituents at least earns their respect, even if they disagree with my policies. I’m looking to represent Democrats, those unaffiliated voters who want a reason to vote Democrat, and Republican voters who don’t want to vote Republican.

6. With rent, property taxes, and home sale prices all rising, what, if anything, should the federal government do to address this growing affordability crisis?

All our economic issues revolve around Americans not having enough money, including this one. However, the focus is always on how we can reduce or regulate costs, which means finding ten solutions to 10 different problems. In the corporate world, there are two things a company can do to increase profits- increase revenue or cut costs. Cutting costs is sometimes the easiest and quickest path to take, but at some point, you can no longer cut expenses; you must increase revenue. By implementing my American Profit-Sharing Plan (APSP), we can put more money into people’s hands. Homes become more affordable with more cash, student loans get paid off, and healthcare can be covered. Guaranteed income programs have been tested in multiple cities with effective results. It’s time to put a nationalized program in place, and my American Profit-Sharing Plan (APSP) fits that bill.

7. What specific policies or programs do you endorse or pursue to combat inflation?

Please see above. Inflation is just another problem of lack of income. Implementing my American Profit-Sharing Plan resolves that issue concisely term.

8. The U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling this summer that guts, or even overturns, Roe v. Wade. What must Congress do to protect abortion rights if that happens?

Congress must codify a woman’s right to bodily liberty. This can be done by a standalone bill or by getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed. However, this might be only a temporary solution as we’ve seen an illicitly composed, illegitimate Supreme Court overturn laws grounded in the most powerful precedent. Therefore, I think expanding the current SCOTUS by 8 Justices, bringing the total to 17, would help prevent further illicit action by the court. While some may call this “packing,” I believe the current number of 9 justices cannot adequately represent our country’s wide range of demographics. By adding eight new judges, we can start to build a court that genuinely represents the vast diversity of our contemporary America.

9. Please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.

Three policies I support to address climate change would include tying future fossil fuel exploration and drilling to investment in alternative energy sources, federal incentives to promote exploring and expanding alternative energy sources, including offshore wind turbines, and improving public transportation and rail, which would include expanding the network of vehicle charging stations.

10. Do you believe Congress should pass the Freedom to Vote Act to guarantee free and fair elections for every American, limit the impact of money on elections, and restrict gerrymandering?

Yes, absolutely, or at least something in a close approximation of this. Our democracy is built on the concept of “One person, one vote.” Yet Republican-dominated state legislatures have continued their 50-plus year assault on Americans’ voting rights through unjustifiable voter suppression laws, egregious gerrymandering, and attempts to override election results in their ultimate quest to create their “Illiberal democracy” vision. Enacting Voting Rights Legislation is the number one issue of this election to maintain our 233-year democracy and should be the sole focus of all Democrats.

Voting Rights legislation would include repealing voter suppression laws, universal and auto-enrollment, a free and universal ID card that can be matched with any proof of address, non-partisan map-making committees, restoring voting rights for those who have served their time, and campaign finance reform that would limit “dark” money that has corrupted our elections. Putting the country’s direction back in the hands of the people is the only way we can maintain and indeed be a democracy.

11. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address?

Whether contained above or not, almost all our countries’ issues stem from a lack of equality. As a country, we should continue to strive for equality, whether it’s racial equality, Women’s rights, LGBTQ+ equality, wealth equality, or even reducing the inequality the government has created for small businesses. Our main goal should be enacting legislation and measures that indirectly benefit all Americans, rather than groups directly, which would decrease those inequalities without causing resentment in groups who may not benefit from direct actions. Alongside this quest for equality should be reform of institutions that have created these inequalities. This includes Congressional Reform, SCOTUS reform, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, and even gun rights reform. We cannot achieve and maintain equality if we continue to let the institutions that helped create it remain the same. We will never reach a peaceful and prosperous America until we achieve our original goal of “All men (people) are created equal.”