How did you decide to run for office?

When I went to my first Wake County Libertarian Party meetup, I met Travis Groo, who is currently the chair. I looked him up and I found him on Ballotpedia, and it was like somebody turned on a light switch. I was like, “Wait, this isn’t the guy in Washington, this isn’t the guy in the Capitol Building, this is a guy who’s here at this bar with me, we’re having some nachos. This is a guy whose beliefs I agree with and who is sort of an everyman.” It inspired me. I didn’t realize politics were so accessible and they could be used to such avail without being deeply entrenched in that political system.

What does it mean to you to be a libertarian?

A very common phrase that gets cited is “Don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff.” As a libertarian, you look at the consequences of a decision. We need to make sure that people’s rights are not being infringed on. “Don’t hurt people” means there’s no aggression, you don’t attack people, you don’t take things from them by force. “Don’t take their stuff” is why you often hear about libertarians worried about things like the budget for the state or the country, or taxation.

What issues are important to you as a member of Gen Z?

Housing affordability is a huge issue [for people my age]. We have all these young families moving to the Triangle for jobs, and they can’t afford to live here. Raleigh housing prices have increased 35 percent in the last 12 months, which is staggering. One of the biggest barriers to success for students and young families is homeownership. If you have to rent forever, that’s a huge liability. You can’t save up; it might put strain on trying to put your kids through college or trade school. In North Carolina, especially with COVID, we’ve seen a lot of companies moving to have their employees work from home. The issue for cities is that for-lease office space is empty. We have these empty office buildings in urban areas near grocery stores, near businesses. If we were to streamline or incentivize the nonresidential-to-residential rezoning there, they could be converted very easily into affordable housing, which would work with the low supply we’re seeing in places like Raleigh.

You support the legalization of marijuana. Why?

Over half of nonviolent drug crimes are marijuana related. That is billions of dollars spent on this failed war on drugs. There’s just this huge waste of taxpayer money spent punishing nonviolent crimes. If you decide to consume marijuana in your home, you’re not hurting anyone. Ethically, I don’t believe it should be illegal. Even beyond the punitive side of it, there’s this huge public appetite [for legalization]. Seventy-three percent of North Carolinians want medical marijuana legalized and 54 percent want both medical and recreational legalized.

More importantly, only 22 percent of North Carolinians said the consumption of marijuana was wrong.

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

Comment on this story at