Name as it appears on the ballot:
Shawn Michael Hamilton
Campaign website: shawnmichaelhamilton.com
Years lived in the district: 4
1. In your view, what are the three most pressing issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what will you do to address these issues?
Education, jobs/wages, economy.
I would work with each side to establish policies that would benefit the people in each of these areas.
2. If you are challenging an incumbent, what decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with? If you are an incumbent, what in your voting record and experience do you believe entitles you to another term?
I am not running to attack the record of the incumbent. There is already enough bashing and playing the blame game in politics.
3. The state’s economy seems to be humming along nicely. How much of that do you attribute to the tax cuts enacted over the past several years? What policies would you like to see put in place to ensure growth going forward?
I attribute it to both tax cuts and more companies moving into NC. I would like to see taxes continue to be cut and more money being put into the pockets of those working for it.
4. On the other hand, much of the wealth has gone to the state’s urban centers, whereas many rural areas are struggling. While this is in many ways a national phenomenon, what can North Carolina do to address the disparities in prosperity within its borders?
Both sides need to work on a plan to help the struggling rural/farm communities. Those living in these communities need to be heard and have a voice within the legislature that will fight for them and help them thrive.
5. Republicans in the legislature have boasted in recent years of increased school expenditures and
teacher pay, some local officials, particularly in urban areas, have complained that it’s not good enough. Do you think North Carolina’s schools are being adequately funded? If not, what taxes would you be willing to raise—or what services would you be willing to cut—to fund them better?
I believe that more spending needs to be put into the NC educational system. Incentives need to be put
place to help retain good, quality teachers. More teachers need to be hired and more schools need to be built. There is already so much unnecessary spending on other things. Our children are our future and their education needs to be invested in.
6. In a similar vein, there has been a movement in recent years toward “school choice” programs such as vouchers and charter schools. Critics say these programs detract from traditional schools and may even exacerbate segregation. Do you support these programs and believe they need to be expanded?
I believe that parents have the right to send their children to whichever school they feel is best. However, I also believe that these schools receiving state funding need to have certain regulations put in place for them to continue to receive funding.
7. Do you believe the state of North Carolina should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care
If so, do you believe that expansion should come with the work requirements the Trump administration is now permitting?
It should come with work requirements.
8. After the Parkland mass shooting, Florida passed a law raising the age of all gun sales to twenty-one and requiring a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases. There have also been calls to limit magazine sizes or ban assault-style rifles. North Carolina has fairly permissive gun laws. Do you believe the state’s gun laws need to be changed? If so, in what ways?
When I joined the United States Air Force in 2001 I took an oath the support and defend the Constitution. I 100% support our United States Constitution and that includes the 2nd Amendment.
9. Currently, twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum. North Carolina is not among them. Do you believe North Carolina should raise its minimum wage―or, alternatively, give municipalities the ability to raise minimum wages within their jurisdictions?
The municipalities should be given the ability to raise the minimum wage within their jurisdictions.
10. The replacement bill for HB 2 that passed last year prohibits local governments from passing living-wage or nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020. It seems likely that this legislature will set limits on how much freedom local governments will have. Did you support the HB 2 replacement? Why or why not? And what restrictions, if any, do you believe the legislature should place on local governments when that moratorium expires?
This was/is an issue that the government shouldn’t
even been involved in. There are more important issues than which restroom one can use. I do believe in laws banning discrimination.
11. Over the last year, the state has frequently found itself in court over its legislative and congressional districts, which courts have ruled racial and, in the latter case, partisan gerrymanders. Do you believe the state’s legislative and congressional districts have been drawn fairly? Do you believe the process itself is fair? If not, how would you suggest changing it?
I don’t think that anyone on the “opposite” side will ever feel that any district is drawn fairly. If we have more representatives who are actually representing the people and being the voice of the people then the lines shouldn’t matter. If you are a good representative then you will have both
12. While other states have relaxed their prohibitions on marijuana and raised revenues by taxing either recreational or medicinal cannabis, North Carolina has not. What sort of reforms, if any, would you support with regard to marijuana policy?
I believe starting with the legalization of medical marijuana would be beneficial.
13. Give an example of a time, during your political career, when you have changed your position as a result of a discussion with someone who held an opposing view.
been many times. I am ALWAYS willing to listen and try to understand where someone is coming from with an opposing viewpoint. Friendly debate benefits both sides.
14. What would you do to address the partisan rancor in the General Assembly? In what ways do you believe you can effectively work across party lines?
If elected, it’s about the people who elected me and not about any certain agenda. For the People because I’m one of the People!
15. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some points with voters.
Again, if elected, I work for the people, the voters that put me there. Although I will do my best to represent and serve them, I am sure that somewhere down the line I will have to make a decision that some won’t be happy about.