I had a chance to sit down with North Carolina House candidate Scott Jones and discuss his vision for North Carolina and what he hopes to accomplish as a Representative in the State House for District 59. Scott is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Jon Hardister and Libertarian candidate Paul Meinhart.
Scott Jones is a life-long Guilford County resident. He graduated from Southeast Guilford High School and was a small business owner. He is a cancer survivor who decided to enter the political arena as an “average Joe”, working for North Carolina and its people. He ran in 2010 for County Sheriff and in 2012 as a candidate for Governor but has not held elective office. He eschews the party label and believes politicians have made a career of re-election. Scott believes all political office should have term limits. If elected, he would limit himself to no more than three terms in the House.
“North Carolina is rich from the coast to the mountains”, Scott said as he outlined his hope to introduce agricultural legislation that would assist small farmers with low-interest loans to develop their businesses. He has a vision of North Carolina’s farmers developing a system of cooperative stores, especially in “food desert” areas of the state. A portion of the crops the farms produce would be shared with schools and food banks serving North Carolinians. He hopes the cooperative stores that are part of this plan would assist the economy by creating retail and ancillary jobs.
Scott believes that the North Carolina General Assembly needs to focus on North Carolina. He believes the state is a “land of opportunity” with businesses that could use the incentives that are handed out to other businesses to move and operate in the state. “We have people here”, he said, “businesses and farmers, which want to grow. We should help them first.”
When asked about the school voucher program, Scott said “I can relate, but this is the wrong time for vouchers”. He indicated that North Carolina needs to invest in basic public education and that monies should be used to develop more “technical schools that will help students” enter the work-force. He added that “we need to invest in teachers” and offered a suggestion of certifying unemployed workers who wish to assist teachers and students but may not currently be working in education.
With the issue of healthcare in North Carolina, Scott believes the NCGOP has “dropped the ball” by not expanding Medicaid or assisting people to gain insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Scott said the “ACA has given me insurance” when the insurance company he had been with for years would no longer cover him. “How many people”, he asked “have been hurt by” not expanding Medicaid?
On voting rights and passage of the voter bill, Scott said he believes the elimination of the “straight party” choice is a good thing as it will force voters to be more informed, but “the rest of the bill is not a good thing”. He believes the state should have non-partisan education available to voters to help them understand the new law and to assist with registration and candidate information. “Moral Mondays”, he said, “have been a ‘positive’ as they have” helped North Carolinians to become “motivated” for positive change. “If it is not for the people”, he said, “then we don’t need to discuss it. Moral Mondays bring the discussion to all the people of North Carolina”.
The election road to November may be a rough one for Scott as he is not an established political figure, but he believes that is to his benefit. He sees himself as the average working man, family man, who understands the daily struggles of life in his district. As we finished our conversation, he shook my hand and said “I don’t care who gets the credit (for ideas he implements) as long as it benefits” his district and all of North Carolina.
I have included links to information about Scott Jones, including his Facebook page and also a link to the ‘Candidate Filing List’ so you can investigate candidates in your district:
(c) 2014 Jeff Egerton/Carolina Observer