Candidate questionnaire: District 115 Statehouse candidates Wilson, Ramsey

This post features responses to the Xpress questionnaire from candidates vying to represent N.C. Statehouse District 115, which includes most of eastern Buncombe County from Fairview and Black Mountain to Weaverville. Democrat Susan Wilson is competing with Republican Nathan Ramsey.

Susan Wilson

Slogan: “People above politics.”
Website: www.SusanWilson.org
Occupation: Family law attorney
Residence: Weaverville
Top three donors: Lillian’s List, N.C. Advocates for Justice, Terry Van Duyn
Total raised as of Sept. 1: $31,820
Endorsements: Sierra Club, Lillian’s List, Equality NC

1. How would you offset the reduction in funding for existing public schools caused by lifting the cap on charter schools?

I would refocus priorities in Raleigh so that education is a main focus in our state. We can offset this reduction in part by closing tax loopholes that benefit millionaires and put that money back into our schools.

2. Do you support or oppose ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment? Why?

I support ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Equal protection under the law, regardless of gender, is common sense.

3. Do you support or oppose establishing a nonpartisan commission, managed by the Legislative Services Office, that would assume responsibility for drawing new district lines? Why?

I support establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission. It’s simple: Party politics should not dictate fair representation.

4. Except in cases of financial crisis, should the Legislature redistribute a city’s assets or reconfigure its services without a request from the local government?

No.

5. State law allows utilities to raise rates to pay for power plants before they’re built, even if they’re never completed. Do you support expanding that law to allow companies to impose annual rate hikes without public comment or oversight? Why or why not?

No. Ratepayers should not be subjected to rate hikes without the opportunity to comment in a public forum. Imposing rate hikes without transparency, oversight and public input is an unfair practice.

Nathan Ramsey

Slogan: “Good schools. Good jobs. A better future!”
Occupation: Dairy farmer/attorney
Residence: Fairview
Website: www.nathanramsey.com
Top three donors: Loyd Kirk, Asheville Anesthesiology PAC, Carolina Emergency Medicine PAC
Total raised as of Sept. 1: About $50,000
Endorsements: N.C. National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Assoc.

1. How would you offset the reduction in funding for existing public schools caused by lifting the cap on charter schools?

If N.C. didn’t lift the cap, we wouldn’t have received hundreds of millions of dollars in Race to the Top funding for our public schools. Since the state doesn’t provide capital funding for charter schools, they save taxpayer dollars, since it ameliorates the need for expanding our existing public-school facilities.

2. Do you support or oppose ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment? Why?

I was a child when ERA was last debated in our state; I’m willing to consider it if elected. I live with my wife and mother-in-law, and my mother lives down the road; if elected, these are the people that will have the most influence on my decision-making.

3. Do you support or oppose establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission, managed by the Legislative Services Office, that would assume responsibility for drawing new district lines? Why?

I am open to considering a nonpartisan legislative redistricting commission, but my research on this matter at this time has indicated that just like nonpartisan judicial elections, there isn’t a process to completely eliminate politics from redistricting.

4. Except in cases of financial crisis, should the Legislature redistribute a city’s assets or reconfigure its services without a request from the local government?

We have an 80-year history of state legislative involvement in our community’s water system. As chairman of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, I worked tirelessly on a bipartisan basis to reach consensus and treat all parties fairly. If elected, I will address these issues on a similar basis.

5. State law allows utilities to raise rates to pay for power plants before they’re built, even if they’re never completed. Do you support expanding that law to allow companies to impose annual rate hikes without public comment or oversight? Why or why not?

I’m not familiar with this issue, but if elected, I will work to make sure families and businesses have the most cost-effective power possible. It must be reliable and produced in the most environmentally feasible manner. Rate-setting should be transparent and open to public comment before critical decisions are made.

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One thought on “Candidate questionnaire: District 115 Statehouse candidates Wilson, Ramsey

  1. newsong48

    On the ERA, it should have been ratified in the 1970′s. Susan Wilson has the correct answer and only ethical position. Come on…isn’t it just shocking & insulting that NC has not ratified it yet? Why would any candidate need to give it more thought?

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