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NC House of Representatives District 77

The North Carolina House of Representatives is the lower house of the North Carolina General Assembly. The House of Representatives consists of 120 members who serve a term of two years. Each member represents an average of 79,462 residents, as of the 2010 Census. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, who holds powers similar to those of the Senate President pro-tem. The Speaker is elected by the members from their membership for a two-year term. The Speaker’s duties include maintaining order in the House and appointing members to the House standing committees.The North Carolina General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to convene a new regular session every two years, and the dates for these sessions are set by law. The NC legislature makes decisions on the budget: taxes, tax credits, economic development, education funding, Pre-K, the courts, Medicaid, etc. It also passes laws that set environmental standards such as water and air quality, tax rates, tax credits, criminal justice. Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms without term limits. Sessions begin at noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January.

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  • Julia Craven Howard

  • Candidate picture

    Keith Townsend

Biographical Information

1. What do you see as your most important priority if you are elected? [Youtube video for this question or text or both].

2. Education policy and funding issues have been in the news lately. What are your views and priorities on how this should be addressed in the coming year?

3. Tax policy can be used to address many issues –giving subsidies to companies coming to NC, balancing the needs of urban and rural areas, providing family support such as the earned-income tax credit, etc. What are your views about the tax policies in NC?

4. Many communities in North Carolina are experiencing significant violence. Do you think that changes to the laws in our state would improve safety in our communities?

Age (optional) 76
Contact Phone (336) 650-2212
email address
To restart our economy in a safe manner.
Education funding is one of the largest budgeting issues. I believe as student continue to learn on line, from home we must promote broadband for each every student.
As the senior member of the House finance committee, we have tried to promote a balance of tax policies. Our tax cuts from tax overhaul in 2013 have proven to be a success Our rewrite of the state unemployment program, allowed us to pay off our debt of 2.7 billion and now have a healthy reserve to pay claims during this time. I do not support the earned income tax credit at this time because of the high fraud overserved in the program.
We have laws but law enforcement are told to stand down. Many departments are relent to enforce the laws we currently have on the books. Many of the people who are destroying property are not from North Carolina.
Age (optional) 69
Contact Phone (704) 433-8459
email address
Position/philosophy statement A healthy democracy depends on contested elections. Without a choice, the vote is an empty gesture. Facts matter more than ever.
Government subsidies to attract companies to N.C. are pervasive and apparently largely unquestioned. I cannot answer as to whether they save or cost the state money. Whenever I hear or read about corporate incentives, I can’t help but recall the statement that in America today we “socialize the risks, but privatize the profits”. (Thomas Frank) During the past decade Republicans in our legislature created what is probably the most regressive tax structure of any state in the U.S. By 2015 North Carolinians making less than $20,000 paid 9.2% in state and local taxes, while those making more than $376,000 paid only 5.3%. Also, in 2013 the corporate tax rate in N.C. was 6.9% and today it is 2.5%. The Republican tax schemes have clearly been designed to transfer as much of the tax burden as possible to middle class workers and the poor. Two immediate remedies would be to reenact both the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Estate Tax. Keep in mind, the Estate Tax was only applied to estates of $5 million or more. However, it will require many changes to dismantle such a grossly unfair tax system and replace it with a just policy.
Our nation seems to have created a culture engulfed in fear. Many Americans alleviate this fear by possessing and sometimes carrying firearms wherever they go. There are over 300 million guns in circulation in this country. I own three myself. While guns will likely be a permanent fixture in our national life, there are steps we could take to enhance gun safety: ban high capacity magazines, require universal background checks and reinstate the assault weapons ban immediately. While I believe the police should not be defunded, I do feel they must be demilitarized. In Portland, the presence of such forces intensified a violent situation rather than subduing it. Police have the difficult responsibility of providing both protection and enforcement. Neighborhood policing where officers know the community they serve is essential. This is not an easy job and I admire the patience and humanity needed to make it work. Of course guns and problems with policing do not directly answer the question of why we have so much violence. I do not have the answer, but the factors are many: sheer intimidation of others, economic hopelessness, the criminalization of drugs, the opioid crisis and the celebration of violence throughout our culture. All of us, not just those in law enforcement, are responsible for maintaining the peace.