Name: Mark Crawford
Occupation: Political science instructor, WCU
Party affiliation, if any: Republican
Political experience: Appointed to state House, 2001-02
Endorsements: Info not provided
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
The third-quarter report has not yet been finalized, but it appears the amount (all sources: contributions, loans, etc.) is slightly more than $60,000.
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Top donors appear to be candidate/family members.
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
Incumbent Rep. Keever has been in office less than a month-and-a-half and has dealt with no actual legislation. I served in the longest session (by legislative and calendar days) in N.C. history. We're both educators, but I have extensive business and military experience, too.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
• creating the most favorable economic climate to sustain jobs we hope to create;
• continuing to improve our education system.
4) Do you support authorizing Asheville to raise its hotel-room tax?
Just this week I met with a high-ranking member of the Tourism Development Authority, and it was my understanding that what we have currently is sufficient. More important, though, is safeguarding funds and ensuring allocation where promised.
5) What methods do you favor for dealing with the state budget crunch, and how would they affect the Asheville area?
My preference and inclination are to first attack and cut unnecessary, redundant or even antiquated and inefficient spending. Next, I would explore cuts in overpaid, high-ranking bureaucracy. Finally, I would try to avoid impact on any counties or municipalities.
6) Do you favor changing state law governing involuntary annexation? If so, how?
I strongly favor allowing democratic principles to work and allowing those without voice in the current process to actually have a vote in the matter.
7) North Carolina had more people on its AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list last year than all other states combined. Do you favor fully funding this program?
The difference between being amenable to the idea and it being possible are huge. Realistically, as N.C. faces somewhere between a 17- to 20-percent budget shortfall, I would be disingenuous to promise on this.
8) What's your position on legalizing medical marijuana?
California has proved that the legalization process has simply led to a greater number of users, and until the federal government's rules are final, it is somewhat moot.
9) Do you favor providing benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees? Why or why not?
I am opposed to any form of discrimination, and until such time as these are also granted to heterosexual partners of state employees, I see this as discrimination.
10) Do you support state assistance to local municipalities in financial trouble? If so, in what form?
If the leaders of local municipalities cannot adequately or properly manage their affairs correctly, the rest of the citizens elsewhere should not be penalized for their mismanagement.