Name as it appears on the ballot: James L. Carr Jr.
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: www.carrjr4senate.com
Occupation & employer: IT Consultant
Years lived in North Carolina: 53
1. What are your primary concerns for the State of North Carolina?
As a native North Carolinian, I’ve seen the incredible changes that have occurred in our state over my lifetime and its progressives who’ve led the way. With the leadership of progressives, our state was the first of the old confederacy to truly embrace diversity and understand the importance of investing in “We the people”.
This is why NC is considered one of the best states to live in and why we’re one of the fastest growing states in the country. This is also why I believe the senate race in our state is the most important race in the country. Our country needs leaders who have faith in people and who demonstrate that faith by promoting inclusiveness, protecting our civil liberties, and investing in “We the People”.
As a lifelong North Carolinian, I know that to become the new south, we had to break the bonds of fear and division by uniting around our common desire for personal liberty. We have learned that investing in people, and caring for the vulnerable does not come at the expense of the middle class or the top 1%
My primary concern is that NC is led by someone with the experience, the plans, the commitment, and the belief in people, to provide the leadership necessary to unite our nation and to put us on the path that allows each of us, regardless of where our story begins, to have the means to pursue the dreams, goals, and aspirations we have for our own lives.
2. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of this state effectively? What would you cite as your biggest career accomplishments?
Most politicians are lawyers, career politicians, small business owners, or former CEOs. These are all fine professions, but not conducive to problem solving. Rarely do these careers have to find solutions to problems while working alongside subordinates, peers, and superiors.
I, on the other hand, have worked in a furniture factory, an ice cream manufacturer, retail store, US AF, fast food, convenience store, mail room, men’s clothing store, property management, and as an accounting tutor. I received a B.S. in Accounting, worked in corporate accounting, corporate IT, and helped my wife start her business.
I know how our economy works, where our economy is headed, how to interact with subordinates, peers, superiors, and both external & internal customers. I understand the issues that we’re currently facing, I understand why we’re facing them, and I understand how to work with others to address our current issues while preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities.
3. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize and how would you work across the aisle to enact those initiatives?
First, I will propose legislation to invest in infrastructure i.e., high speed rail and 5g with the goal of linking rural and urban areas together. Second, I will focus on modernizing our educational system. For school age scholars this means creating a collaboration between teachers, parents, and the scholar to plan out their transition to adulthood. Third, I will work to decouple the relationship between needing a job and receiving good benefits.
In terms of working across the aisle, I will build from the bottom up. First, I will get feedback from the residents of NC to build the outline of what should be included in the legislation. Next, I will work with the NC delegation both democrats and republicans to get their input. Since we all want what’s best for NC, having a unified front makes it easier to approach likeminded senators. I will also use the bully pulpit by taking my case to the people, if those in congress decide that it’s not in their best interest to do the right thing.
4. What factors are fueling the country’s growing political polarization and how will you work to mend it?
As stated earlier, most of our elected officials are either lawyers, career politicians, small business owners, or former CEOs. We have too many people coming from backgrounds in which they do not have to interact with people to solve problems. Since they lack people skills, they struggle in understanding the concerns of the American people and even if they do, lack the skills to build the relationships needed to solve them. This leads to wish list politics where the goal is hoping that your opponent figures out how to lose vs being bold enough to figure out how to win.
I, on the other hand, have real life work experience in the military, textiles, manufacturing, retail, fast food, corporate accounting, and corporate IT. I understand that no matter who you’re dealing with, every interaction is with a customer. Be it a subordinate, a superior, or an internal or external customer, if you want to get things done, you must create win/win not win/lose situations. To create the conditions necessary for success, you must understand what motivates those you’re dealing with, and you must understand the limits of your authority and theirs.
If elected, I will use this approach in working with those across the aisle. First, I will ensure that I have a thorough understanding of the policy that we are discussing. Next, I will ensure I understand their objections. Finally, I will work to try and find a workaround that creates a win/win scenario. We may not come up with a workable solution, but I will have created a friend who will at least respect the fact that I respect their opinion, even if I disagree with it. This opens the door for us to work on different opportunities where we may have more in common.
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?
What makes me attractive to centrist voters is my understanding that the job of a representative is to ensure that we are addressing today’s issues while also preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities. I understand that to do so, we must create win-win opportunities. We’re seeing the consequences of the win/lose mentality as we’re stuck litigating the same issues over and over again. To create win-win opportunities we must focus on what empowers individuals to pursue the dreams, goals, and aspirations they have for their lives. Empowering individuals to live out their dreams, goals, and aspirations will be the cornerstone of any legislation I advocate for. I believe this message applies to all voters and especially centrist voters.
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?
The primary factor driving the affordability crises is local government allowing corporate developers to purchase & develop cheap land without taking into consideration the impact on its residents. The process works as follows:
1. Developers/business interests purchase cheap land with the promise of jobs.
2. This brings in higher-income individuals looking for a better & cheaper quality of life.
3. The community must build utilities like power, water, and sewage lines, along with new schools, police, and fire departments.
4. To pay for all of this, local governments either raise property tax rates or increase the value of the land. However, both negatively impact the local population.
5. The local government wins because it has more revenue from its residents along with those who have relocated.
6. However, the local population loses because the cost of living has increased, and in most cases, increases faster than their increase in income, from the great new jobs. The fix from a federal level is to tie infrastructure spending to state projects i.e. projects that have the greatest impact on the entire state. To address this issue as a US senator, I will use the bully pulpit to bring attention to this behavior, empowering local communities to ensure that local governments address the cost of living impact on local residents as they approve development projects from corporate developers.
7. What specific policies or programs do you endorse or would pursue to combat inflation?
I believe that the main issue affecting inflation is our supply chain. Therefore, I will invest in infrastructure to ensure that we can efficiently move goods, services, produce, and information across the state. Secondly, I will develop worst case contingency plans to ensure continuity if we have another national emergency like Covid. Finally, I will look at implementing light rail and 5g so that residents can travel more efficiently across the state or simply work from home, from the perspective of lowering our energy demands.
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?
I will fight for a privacy bill of rights to once and for all, amongst other things, codify into law our right to our own bodies, the right to love who we want to love, and our right to defend ourselves.
9. Please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.
The key to addressing climate change, i.e., getting buy in from the American people, centers around identifying solutions that have a positive commercial impact. With that in mind, here are my specific policies
1. Investments in high-speed rail
▪ pays for itself
▪ makes the entire state available for commerce and cheaper living.
2. Investments in 5g
▪ pays for itself
▪ makes the entire state available for commerce and cheaper living
▪ opens up educational possibilities, i.e. online learning, for those who live in rural areas.
3. Encourage entrepreneurship
▪ encourage shop local to reduce energy demands
▪ encourage the development of green technologies like green-house farms which can have a positive commercial impact.
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, and I also believe that we need to make the day we vote a national holiday. We need to celebrate the fact that we get to vote and that this is what makes America special. Currently, we view the day as a day where we can destroy those who disagree with us. We need to remember that people have died for this right and by attacking it in anyway makes their death in vain. We can limit the impact of money and attacks on voting rights with a little celebration that reminds us why voting is so special. This will engage all citizens because it will unite us around the only thing that can unite us and that’s our common desire for personal liberty.
11. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address?
Yes, “what is my overarching vision if elected?”
My overarching vision is to empower all Americans to pursue the dreams, goals, and aspirations we have for our lives. Therefore, I will fight for policies that protect our right to privacy, invest in our infrastructure, modernize our educational system, and decouple benefits from jobs.
By empowering all Americans to pursue their own dreams, their own goals, and their own aspirations we create the necessary conditions for ourselves, our state, and our country to win today as we address today’s issues while also winning tomorrow as we prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.
If this is something you can get behind, please vote for me and we can make it happen!
Thank you and God Bless!