Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Ty Harrell

Party: Democrat

Date of Birth: 2/6/70

Campaign Web Site:

Occupation & Employer: Fundraiser. Self.

Years lived in North Carolina: 35+

1) What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina?

A few of the most important issues facing NC include: Education, Healthcare and the economy/jobs.

If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

Providing greater funding for teachers and evaluating what is working and not working in our public schools; establishing comprehensive healthcare coverage for our most vulnerable citizens, children and seniors; stimulate development in “green” jobs that utilize renewable and alternative energy sources to create jobs, and provide increased tax incentives for small business owners – people who create and keep jobs in their communities.

2) Are there specific needs in your district that you would add to that list? How do you propose to address them?

With the tremendous growth in my district, I would add transportation to that list. I have been working with leaders across this state to address greater multi-modal transportation solutions to better serve mass transit needs and to create walk/bike friendly communities.

3) What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you’ve identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.

I’ve voted to raise teachers’ salaries nearly 10% over the past two years. I helped create a “high-risk” insurance pool which allows individuals to buy into the lowest cost group for health insurance. I introduced legislation that would provide tax incentives for small business owners – the “Mom & Pop” businesses that are the backbone of our state’s economy.

4) How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I’d like to think that I’m a Progressive Democrat, but I typically leave the “labeling” to others. I just want to serve the people of my community and state as effectively as I can.

5) The Independent’s mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.

Please see the aforementioned objectives.

6) Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

My opposition to the death penalty could cost me some future popularity points with certain voters, but I don’t believe the death penalty reduces crime. If it did, we’d be a (virtually) crime free society.

7) If these issues haven’t been addressed above, would you please comment on:

a. Poverty: What steps, if any, do you advocate to lift up the poor in North Carolina?

b. Transportation needs in the state, including roads and transit in the Triangle?

c. Crowded prisons: Should we be moving toward more alternative-sentencing programs instead of prison time?

NC needs to evaluate our current sentencing programs and explore options that may be better that are currently utilized in other states.

d. Health care: What should the state do next to address the problem of adults and children without adequate health care or insurance?

e. Foreclosures: What more should the state be doing to help consumers avoid foreclosure and hold onto their homes?

f. Energy: Do you support off-shore drilling in the state’s coastal waters?


Other state initiatives to reduce gasoline and other energy costs?

I support increased exploration of renewable and alternative energy sources. We can begin to install solar and wind systems today and begin to see a benefit today. Whereas, with offshore drilling, we won’t see a return on that for at ten years.

g. The mental health crisis: Everyone agrees it’s a mess. Now what?

h. Taxes: Given the needs, are they too high? Too low? Too regressive? What direction should the state be taking on the revenue side?

i. School vouchers: Should the state provide vouchers to parents who choose private (K-12) schools for their children? If so, for what amount?


8) What is your position on capital punishment in North Carolina? If in favor, will you support a moratorium on executions while the question of whether the death penalty can be administered fairly is studied by the General Assembly?

I’m opposed to the death penalty.

9) What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under state anti-discrimination laws, including state personnel laws.

LGBT rights are the next step in our continued fight for Civil Rights. I believe gay/lesbian couples deserve the same rights as any other couple. Sexual orientation and identity should definitely be added as a protected class under anti-discrimination laws. I was a sponsor of the “Bullying Bill” (HB1366) for that very reason.

10) Do you support women’s reproductive rights, including the “right to choose” as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade?

Yes, absolutely. My support for women’s reproductive rights is unyielding.

Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?

Yes, absolutely. I was a sponsor of the comprehensive sex education bill and will continue to fight for its passage.

11) Should public employees have the right to bargain collectively in North Carolina?


12) One of the most controversial issues in this election year is illegal immigration. Recently, several N.C. counties-including Alamance, Johnston and Wake-have employed the 287(g) program, which streamlines local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement. What is your assessment of the success, or failure, of these programs?

Immigrants of all forms have become an easy target for many in our state and country. I have not seen any progress reports from this program, but am keenly curious as to whether or not this “approach” to solving illegal immigration is working.

13) Despite the Department of Homeland Security’s finding that admitting Illegal Immigrants to college did not violate federal Immigration law, the N.C. System of Community Colleges ruled to maintain a moratorium on admitting Illegal Immigrants to degree-granting programs. How will you vote on legislative proposals to either ban, or permit, Illegal Immigrants attending college In North Carolina?

I will oppose them.