Name as it appears on the ballot: Lee Sartain

Full legal name, if different: Ricky Lee Sartain

Date of birth: 05/11/1981

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Education Policy Specialist, NC State University


1. Gov. Perdue is proposing a 3/4ths of 1-cent sales tax increase to balance the budget and avoid more cuts to education. Do you support her proposal? A different tax increase? Or no tax increase?

I support the Governor’s effort to close the funding gap in NC. However, I prefer to reestablish the 8.25% tax brackets on the highest incomes instead of sales taxes.

2. Do you support the Racial Justice Act? Is it time for North Carolina to abolish the death penalty?

I support the act. The death penalty is effectively abolished due to current medical board restrictions, but I do favor abolishing it legislatively.

3. Are you in favor of a Voter ID law? Why or why not? What steps can the state take to increase voter participation in elections?

No. Current law requires sufficient verification of individuals at the polls. Efforts to increase voter participation would be to create uniform statewide standards for the hours, days, and number of polling places for early elections, and to make sure that County Boards are continuing to create new precincts to keep up with population growth.

4. How will you vote on Amendment One, the amendment to ban gay marriages, civil unions and all other domestic partnerships other than the marriage of one man and one woman?

I will vote against Amendment One.

5. Do you support a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy? Would you sign a bill requiring that a woman, before choosing abortion, undergo an ultrasound? Be counseled about alternatives? Or in other ways be discouraged from choosing an abortion?

I support a woman’s right to choose, and oppose any efforts to require unnecessary tests to receive care. Given that abortions services are only a small portion of most provider’s income and services, it stands to reason that providers already provide an array of options and information to women seeking council.

6. Should the state take additional steps to encourage solar, wind and other renewable energy sources? Should additional nuclear plants in North Carolina be encouraged, discouraged or stopped?

I believe the state should aggressively encourage adoption of solar in the state given that it has the greatest potential currently. Of course, we should not overlook traditional hydropower solutions that could be used across the state.

I do believe that we must continue to maintain nuclear power. Given the choice, if we can reduce coal usage in favor of nuclear I would support it. I would also support new safer reactors, not necessarily new sites.

7. What should we do about frackingextracting natural gas by fracturing rock underground? Do you view it as a technology ready to use in North Carolina? Or one to be studied carefully before any decision about it is made?

I am in favor of developing safe natural gas supplies, however, it is clear that fracking is not ready for prime time, and needs further study. We will not drill our way to a clean energy future, and should use those investment dollars to develop clean energy solutions.

8. Will you support putting the proposed 1/2-cent sales tax for transit on the ballot in Wake County in 2012? Will you vote for or against it in a referendum?

I support putting it on the ballot, and would vote for it.

9. With Dorothea Dix Hospital closing, should the state give or sell the 306-acre Dix tract for use as a park? What should the future of Dix Hill be, and what role should the state play in its future?

I support the sale of Dix Hospital to the City of Raleigh, with proceeds going to mental health. However, from a transit and sustainability perspective, I am not in favor of all 306 acres going to parkland. Unless some high-density development is allowed on the fringes of the property it will be a park that almost certainly requires a car for most residents to get to.

10. The General Assembly’s been criticized for years as a place where the majority rules and takes unfair advantage to hold onto power, depriving the other party and the public of due-process rights that are basic to a democracy. Do you agree with that criticism? If so, what reforms would you support to make the legislature run better?

The dissenting party, with some level of truth each time, regularly doles out this criticism. I do believe there are common sense reforms that should happen. Considering each party’s redistricting plans have led to painfully long court challenges, a commission for redistricting should be established. Further, I believe both parties should agree to a level of civility and discourse, considering that in good government, the majority of issues and legislation should not garner a sharply partisan response.

11. On reapportionment, both parties have shown that they will abuse the redistricting process when give a chance. Will you support a bill in the next session to turn all future redistricting over to a non-partisan or bi-partisan independent commission?

As I mentioned above, I support a redistricting commission to make independent analysis and binding recommendations.