Three Republican candidates are vying for incumbent Richard Burr’s seat in the U.S. Senate. They are Larry Holmquist, 4902 Towne Ridge Dr., Greensboro; Paul Wright, 147 Swinson Dr., Dudley; and Greg Brannon, 108 Trident Ct. Cary. Burr lives at 130 S Pine Valley Rd., SW Winston-Salem.
Democratic candidates are Ernest T. Reeves, 3013 Noah Ct. Greenville; Chris Rey, 1205 Wilderness Dr., Spring Lake; Deborah K. Ross, 425 S Boylan Ave., Raleigh; and Kevin D. Griffin, 4113 Branchwood Dr Durham.
Democratic candidate Chris Rey responded to our request.
Question: Ocracoke is a barrier island that’s part of the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks has been substantially invested in with development since the 1950s. The tourism industry provides a lot of revenue. Issues with NC Highway 12 South, the Bonner Bridge and the Oregon and Hatteras Inlets need constant attention. While the Bonner Bridge is in the process of being rebuilt, now continued dredging of the Hatteras and Oregon Inlet will need more attention.
How can your representation in Washington, D.C., aid the residents, businesses and visitors here?
Chris Rey: As U.S. Senator, I want to strengthen North Carolina’s economy and bring additional growth to the state. Similar to what I did in Spring Lake, I want to bring additional businesses and jobs to all parts of North Carolina. At the same time, that must be balanced by placing an emphasis on higher education and job training.
The cost of living in the United States has increased, but minimum wage has not. While the adjusted unemployment rate in February 2016 is 4.9 percent, nearly 10 percent of Americans are totally unemployed, are unemployed but have stopped looking for work, or want full-time employment but are working part-time jobs for economic reasons. As Mayor of Spring Lake, we have seen 11 percent growth in our economy, more than 100 new businesses established during my tenure, and the implementation of jobs training programs for transitioning military families. These are the types of things we need for our state, and we need a U.S. Senator committed to economic growth and innovative ideas.
I bring the most well rounded package of experience to the table. As mayor, I’ve worked on local issues and gotten tangible results. As a member of the Truman National Security Project, I work with foreign policy leaders on progressive policies to deal with issues internationally. I’ve worked in the legislature and I’ve worked on federal cyber security policy. As a health care executive, I work daily with residents who need health care. As a veteran, I understand the challenges facing our military abroad, and the needs of returning veterans. I will use this background to deal with the real world issues and improve the quality of life for North Carolina. Our campaign will bring the energy the Democratic Party needs to bring out voters.