Name as it appears on the ballot: Nathan Click
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: nathanclick.com
Occupation & employer: Self
Years lived in North Carolina: Almost all of them
1. What are your primary concerns for the State of North Carolina?
I’m the only candidate that has been consistently knocking doors in this district for over 80 days, and talking to its citizens. I hear many recurring themes. Most people in this district are concerned with the economy working for them, affordable housing, healthcare, the sanctity of democracy and voting rights. To address economic issues, we need to slow inflation before it grabs a hold of our economy. We also need to create a tax code and national budget that supports working families and small business entrepreneurs. Billionaires and corporations should pay their fair share to invest in America and pay down our national debt.
The Affordable Care Act has done wonders to provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who would otherwise not be able to afford coverage. We must defend and expand the ACA as well as Medicaid. Congress must bring down the price of prescription drugs by enabling Medicare to negotiate prices with the big pharmaceutical companies. America deserves a public option for health insurance. We should also build more hospitals in growing rural areas, such as Johnston County, so no one has to go far to get emergency care.
Finally, and most importantly, we must secure our democracy by eliminating all forms of voter suppression and strengthening voter rights by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We need to end the corrupt practice of political gerrymandering by passing the For The People Act! We must ensure that all citizens are represented fairly in state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives. Politicians must not be allowed to pick their voters. Politicians also must not be allowed to buy elections; we need comprehensive campaign finance laws and publicly funded elections to make representation more equitable. If I am elected I will make and vote on bills that work for everyone.
2. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of this state effectively? What would you cite as your biggest career accomplishments?
I was raised in North Carolina. I was educated at one of the epicenters of the Civil Rights struggle – North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, so I have a deep understanding of what is needed for social justice and systemic change. I founded a commercial financing and consulting company which caters to small and medium sized businesses. As a small business owner who helps other small business owners, I understand the struggle that business owners go through, I also know first-hand what it’s like to work hard and struggle to make ends meet. I am a former U.S. Air Force officer with nine years of service and a veteran of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. I know what it means to serve, to sacrifice, and to fight for something larger than one’s self. As the North Carolina State Leader for Stand-Up Republic, I volunteered my time to lead efforts to strengthen government accountability. I am qualified to represent the people of this district because I have felt many of the issues that they have felt. From lack of access to health care to unemployment to student loan debt, ect. I’m also qualified because I have the life experience, education, and drive to change things for the better.
My biggest career accomplishment has nothing to do with business or politics. On my first deployment my air control squadron was sent to fly counter drug missions over South America and the Caribbean. While there a large earthquake struck Haiti. The devastation was tremendous. My unit was re-tasked to provide air control for the rescue effort. On one mission, a helicopter crew informed me, over the radio, that because of our air control, they were able to rescue a 9-year-old boy and get him to the hospital ship in time to save his life. That moment was the highlight of my entire career.
3. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize and how would you work across the aisle to enact those initiatives?
My top priority is Racial, Social & Criminal Justice reform; this means working to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, ending for-profit prisons (a modern form of slavery), ending cash bail, “banning the box” which prevents former offenders from finding future opportunities, and addressing the systemic inequality in the judicial system which incarcerates people of color at much higher rates than other races.
Another priority for me is economic reform. For too many, the American dream is just that- a dream. Wages are not keeping up with rising Inflation, gas prices, groceries, mortgage and rents. College is too expensive. Home ownership seems out of reach for too many. And our income and standard of living ARE not keeping up with generations before us. Our economy caters to Wall Street not Main Street as billionaires pay less in taxes than many working families. We must slow inflation before it grabs a hold of our economy. Further, we need a tax code and national budget that supports working families and small business entrepreneurs. Billionaires and corporations should pay their fair share to invest in America and pay down our national debt.
Another priority is building a 21st century clean energy infrastructure. Partisan gridlock and the inability to solve problems has set Americans back in many ways. We are behind other developed nations in areas of transportation, low-cost high-speed internet, and clean energy production. We have the resources to do better! We need to: invest in modernizing U.S. transportation through the development of interstate electric high-speed rail, support the development of a low-cost, high-speed internet network throughout the country; support unconditional net-neutrality; invest in clean energy solutions that include rapid expansion of properly regulated nuclear power plants as well as solar and wind power, with the goal of replacing ALL coal and fossil fuel as quickly as possible; invest in electric vehicle technology and local public transportation with the goal of minimizing fossil fuel use and ending our nation’s dependence on foreign fossil fuel as soon as possible.
It should also be mentioned that none of these things are possible without an investment in education. We need to invest in school infrastructure that modernizes facilities and decreases class sizes. We need to equalize the funding gap between communities so that all schools have access to resources. We also need to invest in community college, trade school, and early college programs.
4. What factors are fueling the country’s growing political polarization and how will you work to mend it?
The political polarization in America is a huge problem. I believe that the three main drivers are media misinformation, lack of political leadership, and shortfalls in public education. Modern media outlets, driven by ratings and profit motives, often have little incentive to focus on factual reporting. In addition, social media channels, motivated by user engagement, are also incentivized to push salacious content. This leads many to live their lives in an “echo chamber.” A friend of mine was recently involved in a serious vehicle accident. She had several broken bones and was stuck at home, mostly alone, for a long period of time. She spent her time watching Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax. During this time, she became more and more bitter, angry, and extreme in her views. This is an example of what misinformation does to people. To combat this, we must do a better job developing and enforcing rules and regulations around false reporting. Freedom of press cannot mean freedom to lie.
Lack of political leadership is another problem. We have elected officials who promote lies for political gain and others who refuse to hold them accountable. If elected I will work to hold elected officials who spread misinformation accountable. This includes those who participated in the Jan 6th insurrection.
The third issue is public education. We need to make sure that civics, media literacy, and critical thinking skills are taught in K-12 schools so that the next generation is better prepared to deal with the digital environment.
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?
Donald Trump is already working to claim NC13 for the MAGA movement. With this being the only swing district in the State it is an important race. Relying on one’s party label will not be successful in this district. The candidate that can connect with the voters on issues important to them will be the winner here. I’m the only candidate that has been consistently knocking doors and I hear many recurring themes. Most people in this district are concerned with the economy working for them, affordable housing, healthcare, and voting rights. I have a vision for addressing “kitchen table’ issues while defending our democracy. I connect with voters on kitchen table issues because I have been personally affected by them. I understand the struggle of the small business owner, the stress of not being able to pay bills, and the sting of racial discrimination. The issues faced by the voters in this district are real and personal for me. I also believe in applying a common sense approach to legislation rather than simply following Party agendas. I really do believe in the concept of “People over Party”. That’s the kind of candidate that can break through the partisan propaganda and win votes from all sides.
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 cost of housing has been something that people talk to me about when I knock on doors. One thing that can be done is expanding the section 8 program. My mother lived in Section 8 housing when I was younger and she still does. Many of her siblings have also lived on Section 8 vouchers and in project housing (she’s one of eight). Having lived in affordable housing myself, I believe this is a program that can work IF we fix its critical flaws AND expand it so that it reaches all the people it needs to. There are currently not enough vouchers (waitlists are too long) we need to expand funding to this program. Also, market rents are not properly calculated and as a result, people are often forced to accept housing in ‘bad neighborhoods’; this concentrates poverty in specific communities, which is functionally a new version of redlining. Market rents need to be calculated so that voucher holders can actually live in quality housing. Finally, landlords must be properly incentivized. Making it easier for landlords will bring more houses into the program and increase the supply of houses available. Once landlords are in the program, we need tough anti-discrimination rules to make sure things are fair. Economic mobility is a core feature of an economy that works for all and affordable safe housing is essential for economic mobility.
7. What specific policies or programs do you endorse or would pursue to combat inflation?
Inflation is part of a larger systemic problem we have in America.
The issue with inflation is systemic. We have allowed our economy to become dominated by large corporations. As a result, there is insufficient competition to put downward pressure on prices. So, when a calamity, such as a pandemic, comes around; corporations can simply pass costs off to consumers. The end result is mega-billionaires increase their wealth while the rest of the nation struggles to keep the lights on. The solution is breaking up large public firms similar to what was done in the early 1900s under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. In doing this we create more competition; firms will not be able to so easily raise prices because they will lose customers to their many competitors. This type of economy is more resistant to inflation.
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?
Pass a law that codifies Roe v. Wade protections into law. Congress has relied on the court to protect women on this issue with judicial interpretations rather than taking action and passing a statute. This is something that must be done.
9. 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, the Freedom to Vote Act, For the People Act, and John Lewis Voting Rights act should all be law.
10. Please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.
I have more than three. Climate change is real and an existential threat to life as we know it on this planet for our children and grandchildren. We must recognize the red lights and sirens that are blaring from the scientific community. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) July 2021 report, we are running out of time. Our national infrastructure is built on an industrial age foundation, which is outdated and dependent on fossil fuel technology. We need to modernize the whole national infrastructure from the ground up. We need to: 1) drastically and rapidly decrease our carbon emissions by cutting our dependence on fossil fuels; 2) focus on developing and expanding renewable and sustainable energy options such as wind, solar, and nuclear; 3) provided economic business incentives for environmentally friendly innovations; 4) develop a clean energy transportation infrastructure; and 5) provide job transition for individuals in working in displaced industries.
11. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address?
My core Philosophy is “people over party” This is one thing that makes me the best candidate for a swing district. I believe in democracy and equity. Everyone should be treated with equity and have fair representation regardless of race, creed, class, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. I believe in a common sense, evidence-based approach to legislation. I support truly open and competitive elections as opposed to flagrant gerrymandering, which suppresses the true voice of the people. I oppose ALL forms of voter suppression. I believe that when elections are fair and when elected officials listen to their constituency, common sense priorities are set and problems can be solved. I believe in strengthening our education system, ensuring public safety and justice for all, building our state and national infrastructure, and creating a profitable, consumer-friendly economy.