Monday, November 22, 2010

Republicans choose Thom Tillis for Speaker of the House

Thom Tillis of Cornelius was recently chosen by Republicans to be the next Speaker of the North Carolina House. The nomination won't become official until the General Assembly reconvenes on January 26, when all members of the House will get to vote. But with Republicans having a 68-52 majority in the chamber, the nomination is a virtual lock.

There is no question that Thom is dedicated and focused on solving the problems that are facing North Carolina. As a matter of fact, Tillis left his job with IBM in 2009 to focus on the 2010 campaign season. He worked hard across the entire state to support numerous Republican House candidates, and put thousands of miles on his car in the process.

Tillis is a businessman who understands how economics are supposed to work. Even though he has only served two terms in the House, he has proven that he has the tenacity and character that it takes to be a leader. For these reasons, I am confident that Rep. Tillis will do an excellent job in serving as Speaker of the House.

Republicans also chose Paul "Skip" Stam of Apex to serve as the majority leader in the state House. Stam had also put his name in the running for Speaker of the House but didn't quite get enough votes for the nomination. From what I hear, the vote tally was fairly close.

Rep. Stam worked very hard throughout the 2010 campaign season to help Republicans gain the majority in the state House. In fact, Stam was one of the first elected officials that I contacted when I began thinking about running for public office. He was very encouraging and helpful in my efforts to launch my campaign for state House.

There is no question that "Skip" Stam is a dedicated public servant who has proven that he has leadership qualities. To that end, I'm confident that he will do a superb job in carrying out his role as the Republican majority leader in the state House.

As far as I'm concerned, selecting Thom Tillis to be speaker of the House and Paul Stam to be majority leader is a wise move. These two men have displayed a strong work ethic and a sincere commitment to conservative economic policies. I am confident that they will work hard and stay focused on solving the problems that we are facing in North Carolina.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Republicans Must Deliver on Campaign Promises

There is no questions that the Republicans won big in the 2010 elections. In North Carolina, Republicans made history by taking control of the State House and State Senate for the first time since 1898. (No, that is not a typo; Republicans had not held the legislative majority in North Carolina in over 112 years.)

This is clearly good news for conservatives but there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and the work isn't going to be easy. Republicans have every reason to celebrate their recent victories, but they must quickly shift their focus to solving the problems that we are facing. The fact is, if Republicans drop the ball this time, they will pay the political consequences just as they did in 2006 and 2008.

In North Carolina, as in many other locations across the United States, Republicans campaigned on a platform of less government, less spending, and lower taxes. That was certainly the correct platform to run on. But now that Republicans have the legislative majority, they must put their words into action.

To be fair to Republicans, we should remember that we still have a Democratic Governor in North Carolina. This means that Republicans don't have complete flexibility on their legislative agenda. But controlling both chambers of the General Assembly will translate into a tremendous amount of power and influence, giving Republicans a great deal of leverage to implement changes in public policy.

Several weeks before the November election, the North Carolina Republican Party released a "10 Point Plan" to help North Carolina get back on track. Here is the plan:

1. Years of overspending by Democrats have given North Carolina the highest tax rates in the Southeast and a budget deficit of at least $3 billion; we will balance the State budget without raising tax rates.

2. High taxes are killing jobs. We will make our tax rates competitive with other states.

3. Pass The Healthcare Protection Act, exempting North Carolinians from the job-killing, liberty-restricting mandates of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obama-Care”).

4. Fight to protect jobs by keeping our Right to Work laws intact.

5. Reduce the regulatory burden on small business.

6. Fund education in the classroom, not the bureaucracy.

7. Eliminate the cap on charter schools.

8. Pass the Honest Election Act, requiring a valid photo ID to vote.

9. Pass the Eminent Domain constitutional amendment to protect private property rights.

10. End pay-to-play politics and restore honesty and integrity to state government.

Each of the points listed above make sense and should be implemented. If the Republicans are able to follow through on each of those priorities, I have no doubt that North Carolina will see a more prosperous future.

In order for this to happen, however, Republicans MUST stay true to the values and principles on which they ran their campaigns. They must work hard and remain focused on solving the problems that are facing North Carolina. The work is not going to be easy, but it must be done and it must be done correctly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank you for your support!

We may not have won the election for State House District 57 this time around, but we put up a good fight. The campaign was a lot of fun and I am humbled by the amount of support that I received. It was a great experience and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people along the way.

Unfortunately, the numbers in the district that I was running for were stacked against me. As far as voter registration is concerned, it is 58 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, and 13 percent Unaffiliated. That means that there are literally twice as many Democrats than Republicans in the district. When you consider these numbers, the fact that we were able to garner 44 percent of the vote is something to be very proud of.

When Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin of two-to-one, it because an extremely difficult task for any Republican to get elected. That's why our elected officials need to focus on making electoral districts more competitive, rather than shaping them to favor a particular candidate or political party. In other words, we need to put an end to gerrymandering and create districts that are fair and apolitical.

Despite the numbers, however, I thought that we had a chance. That's why I worked hard and dedicated myself to the campaign. Unfortunately, the numbers that we were up against turned out to be extremely difficult to overcome.

At this point, I am upbeat and optimistic about our future. At the national level, the Republicans have taken the U.S. House and the Republicans gained seats in the U.S. Senate.

However, what has me the most optimistic is the fact that the Republicans have gained the majority in the North Carolina legislature for the first time in 112 years. Not only did we make history on election day, Republicans now have a chance to implement policies that will improve the economy and brighten the future of North Carolina.

Perhaps the most significant element of the recent elections in North Carolina is the fact that Republicans are going to control the redistricting process in 2011. This means that we can level the playing field by making districts more competitive. As I mentioned before, the numbers in D57 favor Democrats and make it very difficult for a Republican to compete there. But all of that is likely to change, now that we have a Republican majority in the State Legislature.

Someone asked me recently if I feel disappointed because I lost. I told them that there is no reason to be disappointed. We worked hard and gave it our best shot. At the end of the day, that's all you can do. There is no reason to feel down if you can look back and say that you tried your best.

Finally, I want to say how much I appreciate all of the support has been given to me. There is no way that I could have made it this far without the generous support that so many people offered to my campaign. It was a great experience and I'm proud of what we have accomplished.

We made an amazing amount of progress in the 2010 elections, but our work is far from over. Let's stay focused and keep moving forward so we can make more progress in 2012!