Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas

Age: 34
Residence: Buncombe County
Occupation: Assistant vice president/financial adviser
Education: B.A. government, Wofford College
Party: Republican
Political experience: Former party chairman

1. Do you support allowing individual municipalities to enact their own campaign-finance reform ordinances?

No. All candidates for similar offices within the state should compete under the same rules.

2. Do you believe the state’s ethics law for legislators is adequate? If not, how would you change it?

Ethics reform is a serious issue and is seriously needed. The new system must include a process for ethics-compliance verification and full disclosure.

3. What’s your position on the proposed passenger-rail service between Raleigh and Western North Carolina?

In theory, I support the idea. I look forward to the opportunity to review the final and complete proposal.

4. Would you support state funding for renovating or rebuilding the Asheville Civic Center? Why or why not?

I first need to see a detailed long-term plan for viability of the center. I will make my decision based upon the substance and quality of the plan presented, when contrasted with our area’s other needs.

5. Do you support a public-funding option for Council of State candidates, similar to the judicial public-financing system approved in 2002? Why?

No. It places challengers to incumbents at a distinct disadvantage and is not a proper use of taxpayer money.

6. What do you plan to do to ensure equitable distribution of state lottery funds to WNC?

The proceeds should be apportioned by enrollment and need. We have high enrollment and real need. Buncombe County deserves its fair share.

7. Name three state budget areas or items that should be reduced and three that should be increased.

Reduce: Executive discretionary funds, legislative discretionary funds, remove redundant funding through zero-based budgeting.

Increase: Support for the classroom, childcare, health care/mental health.

8. Would you approve additional local-option rooms-and-meals or food-and-beverage taxes for Buncombe County? Under what circumstances?

Probably not.

9. As WNC’s land prices skyrocket, would you support tools — such as the property-transfer tax or inclusionary zoning — to help communities keep housing affordable?

I will not support a property-transfer tax. There are many other methods available to address affordable housing. I look forward to working with city, county and federal leaders for a local solution to affordable housing.

10. What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?

I am fully invested in our future by being married with two young children. I own a small business and have a good understanding of government. Ten years of experience as an Army officer. I have the ability and desire to listen to and understand constituents’ needs.

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