Candidates for N.C. House of Representatives District 115

Amy Evans is fighting to replace Democratic incumbent John Ager in the N.C. House of Representatives. Evans’ primary opponent for the Republican nomination, Nathan West, recently dropped out of the race. He has thrown his support behind Evans, writing in a press release, “After several meetings with Amy and considerable reflection with my friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that she represents our best chance to defeat the incumbent in November’s general election.”

Amy Evans

Experience: Manager of Tanner LLC in Black Mountain, served as executive administrator for the Board of Directors of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Foundation

Website: www.amyevansnc.com

Amy Evans

In light of the recent school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead, what would you suggest to keep students in school safe? Everyone wants to keep kids safe. I believe the issue of school safety is for every individual, not just children. How do we keep all citizens safe in America today? I believe the only way to solve the public safety issue is to agree the problem goes beyond schools, subways, and public arenas. It is certainly NOT about guns, knives or any weapon of choice. It’s about a culture of divisiveness and violence that we have allowed to flourish in America. We need a strategic approach to solve the real problems: mental health, poor parenting and supervision, social media steering a “political” agenda, overworked teachers and staff who lack training and the resources to acquire it, and disrespect for laws and law enforcement officials. Law enforcement, parents and teachers all working together is the only solution.

State law prevents North Carolina police departments from releasing body camera footage to the public or media without a court order. In light of the body cam footage published in late February showing a white Asheville Police Department officer beating an African-American man in Asheville, will you push for overturning this law? Is there a reason to keep this law in place? Why should our tax dollars be wasted for such an obvious common-sense solution:  Get rid of body cameras and allow our law enforcement professionals do their job. If an officer (no matter what color his/her skin) was doing their JOB — apprehending a citizen (no matter what color his/her skin) for violating the law — I don’t see the necessity for further dialogue.  Are we a nation of laws or not?  This questions seems politically motivated and certainly illustrates a waste of valuable resources we could use elsewhere.

A federal court recently ordered the N.C. General Assembly to redraw its congressional maps after determining that they disproportionately favored Republican candidates for U.S. House. Should the General Assembly continue to be in charge of this responsibility, or should the state turn to other methods? What solutions could make map drawing fairer to all parties? Or, why is the current system best? Gerrymandering should be deemed illegal: “manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency in order to favor one political party or another.” Before the Republicans, the Democrats used the same method to achieve favorable outcomes at the polls. The districts should be based on population only. The census has to be the way we draw district lines — without being adjusted or updated. They can and should be reviewed every 10 years. But only for true population/census metrics and data collection. I would work to eliminate any gerrymandering no matter what metric it is being proposed to measure.

What state-run service needs the most improvement, and how would you address it? Like our president, I believe that our roads and bridges are in a sad state of repair. The resources need to be in our budget without raising taxes (gas) for transportation improvements and maintenance. That should be budgeted for. We need modern, traversable roadways, railways and bridges in order to move our services and goods efficiently, statewide.

What is the most important issue facing Western North Carolina, and how do you plan on addressing it? I believe the state professional licensure and certification standards need to be totally revamped (fees/regulations reduced!).  They are killing small businesses and stifling opportunities for qualified professionals to find work in North Carolina.  I will create a committee to research current regulation/policy and then completely overhaul the current system to align credentials more favorably with experience levels of professionalism — i.e., create a no-fee or a minimal-fee standard that is reasonable, one that is fair and will attract – not deter — more professionals to work in North Carolina.

What do you bring to the table that your opponent can’t? Thirty years of solid business acumen. I will apply the same business strategies and principles to the multifaceted issues I am certain to face in Raleigh.

Nathan West

Candidate Nathan West has dropped out of the race and thrown his support behind Evans. His name will still appear on the ballot on May 8.

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About David Floyd
David Floyd is the Buncombe County reporter for the Mountain Xpress. He previously worked as a general-assignment reporter for the Johnson City Press. Email him at dfloyd@mountainx.com.

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