Four candidates are running for the N.C. Senate District 23 seat in the May 17 primary election.
This district includes Orange, Caswell and Person counties and is currently represented by Sen. Valerie Foushee, who is running for the state's 4th Congressional District.
The four District 23 candidates include Democrats Jamie DeMent Holcomb and N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Caswell, Orange, and Republicans Landon Woods and Bill Cooke.
Jamie DeMent Holcomb
Holcomb, a farmer of 18 years in Hillsborough and entrepreneur, said she decided to run for office to be a role model for her 6-month-old daughter. Her platform focuses on more equitable access to education, health care and aid for small businesses.
“We need more women in elected office,” she said. "When women are our elected officials, we bring a unique perspective to the office and the decision-making process."
Holcomb has political experience working for former U.S Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C.
Through this position, she has witnessed how efficient government can be when both parties work together, noting the importance of establishing a dialogue between state senate parties to create meaningful change.
Holcomb also said equity should be addressed at every level and throughout communities.
“It crosses a gender divide, a racial divide and a socioeconomic divide,” she said.
As an organic farmer and online farmers market owner, she said there needs to be bipartisan work in addressing climate change.
After eight years in the N.C. House of Representatives, Meyer is running for the state Senate.
He hopes to tackle larger issues over the next few years in the Senate, such as Medicaid expansion, cannabis legalization, education funding and climate change.
He also believes he has the ability to work across the aisle to foster collaboration and change.
“I've developed a track record in my districts for listening to all people, finding what unites us across different perspectives and then coming up with bold policy proposals that really would impact people's lives,” he said.
Though legislation has been passed to combat climate change, he said more work needs to be done within the transportation sector to address environmental issues.
As the owner of an education consulting firm, Meyer said supporting small businesses is important to him.
Woods, a Caswell County native, decided to run for office after seeing the impact politics had on his family’s farm.
“The middle-class people — the working-class people who are striving to do better — are suffering,” Woods said.
He believes federal and state governments should have limited reach. His platform consists of cutting taxes for the working class, bringing jobs back to the United States and preserving freedoms.
In addition, he hopes to strip away government assistance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we slowly phase out those benefits, then people will inevitably have to get back into the workforce and small businesses can thrive again,” he said.
As the owner of a solar energy company, Woods said he values the use of green energy and utilizing oil drilled in the U.S. versus other countries.
Though this is his first time running for political office, he said his experience running a business has prepared him for public service.
Cooke, the other Republican candidate for the seat, did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Tar Heel.
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