On the issues: Where candidates stand on education, healthcare and taxes

Moss Brennan, Reporter

Virginia Foxx: Incumbent: U.S. House of Representatives District 5

Education: As a former teacher, administrator and college president, education is important to Foxx. She wants to make education more affordable, and introduced the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform, or PROSPER, bill last December to reform secondary education.

Immigration: Foxx is a granddaughter of Italian immigrants but believes the immigration system is broken. She believes reformation of immigration system needs to secure the borders, uphold American laws and protect national security.

Healthcare: Foxx supports the American Health Care Act: a comprehensive replacement of the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s health care law. She supports legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but also wants to bring down costs and expand choices for families. She also wants to restore competition by having association health plans for small businesses.

Taxes: She wants simpler, fairer and lower taxes on American families and job-creators. Foxx supported H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut taxes for large and small businesses.

Gun Control: Foxx is committed to the idea that no new proposals infringe on the rights to bear arms by law abiding citizens.

DD Adams: Candidate: U.S. House of Representatives District 5

Education: Adams supports public schools and understands that improving public schools is complicated. She wants to abandon the voucher system, offer universal kindergarten, reduce class sizes, ensure classrooms have everything they need and fund low-cost or free technical schools. 

Immigration: Adams supports a rational immigration policy. She wants to increase immigration court funding, wants undocumented immigrants who clear background checks to have green cards and aims to protect immigrants from employers trying to exploit them.

Healthcare: Adams believes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. She wants to increase funds to non-profit healthcare organizations, allow the government to negotiate drug prices and expand access health care.

Taxes: Adams believes that the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations should pay fair taxes, which would reward those making investments and creating jobs in America. This would also stop money manipulations by corporations that stash profits abroad.

Gun Control: Adams supports the Second Amendment and is a gun owner. Her goals are to require a 24-hour waiting period to buy a handgun,  to reinstate the assault rifle ban and to ban high-capacity clips and bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to shoot faster.

Ray Russell: Candidate: N.C. House of Representatives District 93

Education: Russell is an advocate for early childhood education, reforming statewide testing and re-allocating funds toward teacher pay and per student spending. He is endorsed by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Healthcare: Russell supports the expansion of Medicaid due to the impact on North Carolina’s economy and his wish for more people to have access to healthcare. Russell also wants to help the district in the areas of mental health care and addiction recovery.

Taxes: Russell wants a progressive tax rate, which would ensure people with lower incomes would pay a lower tax rate and those with higher incomes would pay a higher tax rate.

Gerrymandering: Russell acknowledges that both Republicans and Democrats have played a part in gerrymandering. He believes the solution is to create an independent commission to draw districts.

School Safety: Russell believes school safety is a pressing issue and that updating school buildings and bringing in more school nurses, psychologists and resource officers will help.

Jonathan Jordan: Incumbent: N.C. House of Representatives District 93

Education: Jordan has said that since he arrived in the House, both teacher pay and per-student spending have increased. He aims to continue this increase.

Healthcare: Jordan does not support the expansion of Medicaid. He said that years ago the House had to vote three times to add more money to the program and expanding it would reverse their votes.

Taxes: Jordan supports an amendment that would decrease the income tax rate from 10 percent to seven percent, though he would prefer to have no income tax in North Carolina.

Gerrymandering: He has said that “activist courts” have gotten too involved in North Carolina politics and called for supreme courts to decide if partisanship can be used to draw districts.

School Safety: Jordan believes that to improve school safety, updated buildings and more school resource officers are essential.

Wes Luther: Candidate: N.C. Senate District 45

Education: Luther believes in raising teacher pay, increasing student spending, updating old textbooks and investing in new infrastructure for outdated schools. Luther also supports the NC Promise Tuition Plan, which would make public universities more affordable.

Veterans: As a veteran Marine, Luther strongly supports investing more money into the Department of Veterans Affairs and its programs, as well as making the programs more accessible.

Healthcare: Luther supports the expansion of Medicaid and believes that “all Americans are entitled to quality healthcare,” according to his website.

Taxes: He wants North Carolina to bring back solar tax credits to boost sustainable energy-focused businesses.

Environment: Luther is studying sustainable technology at App State. Because of this, Luther believes in holding corporations responsible for the pollution they cause and using more sustainable energies than fuel.

Deanna Ballard: Incumbent: N.C. Senate District 45

Education: Ballard wants to listen to local teachers, parents and school officials, and the concerns they have surrounding class size, teacher pay and curriculum. Ballard believes that spending more money on education will lead to more jobs and businesses in North Carolina.

Veterans: Because her brother is in the Navy, Ballard believes she can act as a strong advocate for veterans and their families. She believes that benefits and programs for veterans should be “distributed in a timely and efficient fashion,” according to her website.

Healthcare: Ballard believes that problems with Medicaid “should be fixed,” according to her website.

Taxes: Ballard wants to remove regulations in the North Carolina tax code that prevent businesses from expanding and hiring more employees. She wants to put more money into taxpayers’ pockets.

Environment: Ballard believes the 45th District is one of the greatest treasures in the U.S. She believes in having good stewardship over the natural resources available. She also supports balanced economic growth, which would ensure the land stays beautiful for future generations.

Story by Moss Brennan and Jackie Park