Dawn M. Kurry
Richmond County Daily Journal
Two candidates are competing for your vote for North Carolina Senate. On the Nov. 6 ballot you will see Democrat Gene McLaurin and Republican Gene McIntyre. These candidates are competing for the seat of Senator Bill Purcell who is not seeking re-election.
McLaurin lives in Rockingham and has been mayor of Rockingham for 15 years. He is president of Swink-Quality Oil and chair of Foundation for Richmond County.
McIntyre lives in New London and is serving his fourth term as a Stanly County Commissioner. He served public education for 33 years as a teacher, coach and principal. He and his wife also raise seeing-eye dogs for Florida-based Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Surveys were emailed to both candidates, who responded in a timely manner. Below are the survey questions and the responses each candidate submitted to the Daily Journal:
The North Carolina General Assembly is called “broken” by many. How would you break the partisan gridlock?
McLaurin said, “During my 15 years as Mayor of Rockingham and 32 years in the business world, I have built excellent relationships and partnerships with those in business and in government, with leaders and decision makers in our district and in other parts of the state including Raleigh, with Democrats and with Republicans and with those not affiliated with either political party. I have a record of working with others on a bi-partisan basis to build consensus and solve problems. I will foster these relationships to help create jobs, improve education and provide a better quality of life for our citizens. As your state senator, I will work hard every day for the people of our district on a non partisan basis because good ideas do not come with a party label. I’m an independent thinker and will reach across party lines to solve the problems facing North Carolina. I’m proud to have the support of Democrats, Republicans and others who recognize the common sense and common values approach I bring to public service. Finally, further proof of my broad bi-partisan support is a partial list of those who have endorsed me including the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, N.C. State Employees Association, N.C Realtors and N.C. Association of Educators.”
McIntyre said, “The legislature passed a bipartisan budget and over 200 other pieces of legislation in the short session. The two-year budget: cut taxes, reduced spending and reformed and improved public education, enacted tax exemptions, tax reforms, approved medical malpractice and tort reforms for job creation now and for the future. The General Assembly worked very hard and accomplished a great deal to create a job friendly environment in North Carolina. I have worked with people in public service all of my life. I am used to teamwork. We all have the same goal, that being doing what is best for the citizens in this great State.”
What is your personal motivation for running for office?
McLaurin said, “I truly love and enjoy public service and feel it is my responsibility and privilege to help communities and people achieve their dreams. I enjoy working cooperatively with others to improve the quality of life for our citizens. I want to utilize my 32 years business experience where I have created jobs and met a payroll each week to run North Carolina like a business, cut wasteful spending and use those savings to invest in education — the backbone of North Carolina’s prosperity. I want to use my experience as Mayor where I helped industries to expand, helped return NASCAR to Rockingham Speedway and worked with other community partners to help bring Discovery Place KIDS to our region. I want to use this combination of experience to work with others to build stronger and more vibrant communities in our district and create more jobs and economic opportunities for our citizens. In order to have a thriving economy, we must invest in education, reward teachers and educators and give them the support they deserve. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us. As your state senator, I refuse to let them down.”
McIntyre said, “My motivation is to give the citizens in District 25 a strong voice in Raleigh for efficient and effective government. I want to bring state government closer to the people in these counties so that they know they have access to their Senator and that I will be there to advance their interests.”
In your first term, if you could only have one goal, what would that goal be and how would you go about it?
McLaurin said, “Traveling throughout the district and listening to our citizens, it is very clear that my number one priority is jobs and economic growth for our communities. My goal is for every citizen in our district to be employed in a good job with good wages so they can adequately provide for their families or to be enrolled in a community college or university to be trained for a good job. Every senior citizen should be safe and secure in their retirement and have access to quality health care at an affordable price. Furthermore, every teacher, educator and state employee should feel properly recognized and supported by a state government that values their hard work and dedication.”
McIntyre said, “Foster job growth in the private sector in District 25 and North Carolina. I will support the regulatory and tax reform for small businesses that was started in the 2011-12 legislative session. Small business is the backbone on our economy. We must be sure we are not making it harder for our small businesses to start up and make a profit. I will support legislation for education reform through the Excellent Public Schools Act to include high school and the community college. Education improvements are needed to guarantee an educated labor force.”
McLaurin said, “My story is like so many North Carolinians; faith in God, devotion to family, hard work, personal responsibility, service to others and a belief that we must give our children and grandchildren a shot at a future more prosperous than ours. I will take these values to Raleigh. I ask for your vote on November 6.”
McIntyre did not submit a personal statement.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.