Occupation: Small-business owner, management consultant
Party affiliation, if any: Republican
Political experience: Former member Asheville Civic Center Commission
Endorsements: National Federation of Independent Business, NRA, Grass Roots NC, Asheville Tea PAC
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
Our campaign continues to raise money every day.
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
I am the single largest donor to my campaign, and several people are tied for second and third place. Readers can find the most updated and accurate information about donors, contribution amounts and expenditures on the N.C. State Board of Elections website.
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
I signed a pledge not to raise taxes. My opponent, however, not only supported tax increases, she voted for them. Jane Whilden voted to raise taxes on even the most basic of necessities, such as school supplies, clothing and even prepared food.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
• Repeal the tax hikes enacted by my opponent.
• Streamline and reduce state spending with a performance-based budget that supports private-sector job creation here in N.C.
• Ensure the maximum amount of education dollars are directed to the classroom rather than administration.
4) Do you support authorizing Asheville to raise its hotel-room tax?
The hotel-room tax was originally created at the request of hotel operators for the purpose of advertising and promoting tourism. I am not aware that they desire or have requested any such increase.
5) What methods do you favor for dealing with the state budget crunch, and how would they affect the Asheville area?
The only way to address the problem is to begin with a zero-based budget and apportion funding based upon performance. This is similar to the PAYGO provisions used in the U.S. Congress to balance the budget in the 1990s. It worked there then, and it can work here now.
6) Do you favor changing state law governing involuntary annexation? If so, how?
Yes. Cities need to grow, but cities also need to live within their means. The citizens being annexed deserve representation before taxation. This can be accomplished through a variety of legislative actions. These include, but are not limited to: ETJ voting rights, referendum alternatives and/or petition-based referendums.
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 question assumes program enrollment is driven solely by funding. I’m not certain that is the case. I look forward to the opportunity for a full review of the facts on the matter.
8) What's your position on legalizing medical marijuana?
Federal law prohibits possession of cannabis.
9) Do you favor providing benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees? Why or why not?
I am strongly opposed to all forms of discrimination, and I am very concerned that taking such action legislatively would discriminate against heterosexual domestic partners.
10) Do you support state assistance to local municipalities in financial trouble? If so, in what form?
I believe the citizens of Buncombe County and Asheville should never be forced to pay for the debt and/or financial recklessness of another city, town or county.