Name as it appears on the ballot: Jeff Werner

Age: 62

Party affiliation: Republican

Campaign website: N/A

Occupation & employer: Strategic Sourcing SME / HII-NNS

Years lived in North Carolina: 23

1. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of North Carolina effectively? What would you cite as your three biggest career accomplishments?

My Campaign slogan is “Let’s Work Together for a Better North Carolina”. I am an Independent common sense fiscal conservative who has worked on National Defense and Weather Systems in Strategic Sourcing. I have negotiated and managed millions of dollars of federal contracts, generating significant savings to the taxpayers. I believe in the Constitution of the United States. Among my friends and associates are Democrats and we are always able to find common ground because we all believe that responsive government works for all.

2. What do you believe to be the three most pressing issues facing the next General Assembly? What steps do you believe the state should take to address them?

• The Economy. The changing tax rates for corporations and individuals is a good first step. A three-month suspension of the State Gasoline Tax would be a much-appreciated step.

• Education. In-school remedial assistance during school hours and after school to address loss students have incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic is a start. A review of what is required will continue, together with reallocation of resources as required.

• Health Care. A change in how Health Care agencies treat mental illnesses in this State. North Carolina should look at mental illness the same way we treat cancer. Health Care Agencies need to continue to support these sufferers until care is not needed, just like cancer.

3. To what extent do you support municipalities exerting local control over issues such as regulating greenhouse gas emissions, criminal justice reforms and police oversight, and passing development-regulating ordinances?

• Outer Banks tourism is essential to the North Carolina economy, generating billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue annually. All residents enjoy their time at the shoreline. I support the initiatives proposed in the Lighthouse Fund for Sustainable Tourism as it affect NC’s costal communities. These findings deal the need for housing, workers, and costal land management.

• 1) Improved Training for dealing with non-deadly or mentally unstable suspects. 2) The Bipartisan North Carolina Police Reforms signed by Cooper on 9-2-21 was a good first step. 3) So you know, my grandfather was a New York City Police Officer who died while on duty assisting another Police Officer with a suspect.

• The key to revitalization without gentrification is to bring the soon to be affected residents of an area to the table with the developers at the beginning of the intended project and thereafter. I have seen this work very well in the Washington, DC area.

4. Do you support raising North Carolina’s minimum wage, and if so by how much? If not, what other initiatives would you take to support low-income families in North Carolina?

I would support raising the minimum wage to $15.00/hour NLT 12/31/2023. I personally do not know anyone that makes less than that currently.

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

My definition of Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is 30% below the median household income. In 2020, voters approved Raleigh’s $80 million affordable housing bond. Before that, Durham passed a $95 million housing bond in 2019. Time will tell what additional steps are needed going forward.

6. Do you believe that the state government has an obligation to prevent the impacts of climate change? If so, please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.

I believe the State should with Federal authorities on these matters. 

7. Would you support an independent process for drawing new legislative and congressional districts?

Since Independent voters are the majority in North Carolina and Wake County, they should be the majority in as many voting districts as possible.

8. Does the General Assembly have a constitutional obligation to comply with the state Supreme Court order in the Leandro case to fully fund public schools and give every child in North Carolina a sound basic education?

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is responsible with implementing the state’s public-school laws for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools at the direction of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The leadership of the NCDPI must be held accountable by both the Governor and the Legislature that the correct, legal, and fair actions are being taken in terms of instruction and budget.

9. The U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling this summer that guts, or even overturns, Roe v. Wade. As a state lawmaker, would you support legislation that limits or prohibits abortion in North Carolina, or punishes/criminalizes abortion providers or patients?

Let us see how the Supreme Court will rule on pending cases first.

10. Should North Carolina expand Medicaid? Where do you stand on increasing the number of slots for the Innovations Waiver for special needs individuals?

I believe in Medicaid Expansion. Before this is enacted, North Carolinians need to best understand the long-term (Minimum: 10 years) cost of this implementation. I have repeated asked my current State Senator this question and have never received an honest answer.

11. Do you support reforming North Carolina’s marijuana laws? Do you support full legalization? Please explain your position.

I support the legalization of medical marijuana under medical supervision in North Carolina I support the decriminalization of lesser amounts of marijuana, which could include recreational usage. I personally have never used marijuana over the course of my life.

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

Among the most important topics young children need to learn is respect, tolerance, empathy, and understanding of those around them. We also do not teach college elective subjects to elementary students. I do not support either the 1619 Project or Critical Race Theory (CRT).