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LIGHTNING VOTER GUIDE: N.C. House District 117

Running for the NC House 117 seat are Republican Tim Moffitt and Democrat Josh Remillard Running for the NC House 117 seat are Republican Tim Moffitt and Democrat Josh Remillard

Republican Tim Moffitt and Democrat Josh Remillard are running for the state House seat made vacant when five-term incumbent Chuck McGrady resigned on Oct. 5.

 

Three days later the Henderson County District 117 Republican Party Executive Committee nominated Moffitt to fill the remainder of McGrady’s term and on Monday Gov. Roy Cooper made it official, appointing Moffitt to the seat.

Moffitt, 56, is a business owner who lives in the Bearwallow community of northern Henderson County. He and his wife, Dina, have three children.

Remillard, 38, grew up in Wilmington. He served eight years in the U.S. Army, deploying twice to Iraq, before retiring as a sergeant. He and his wife, Rhiannon, and their daughters Gwenevere and Eowyn live in Mills River. When his wife got “a great job opportunity,” Remillard was able to leave his job at Gaia Herbs and run fulltime for the state House, his campaign said.

District 117 is made up of 25 precincts in central and northern Henderson County.

Why are you running for election to the N.C. General Assembly?

Moffitt: The perilous times we are living in demand that we have leaders who will stand up and defend our conservative values and our way of life. My family’s roots in Henderson County go back nearly 200 years. I grew up here, and I’ve always called these mountains home. And having previously served in the Legislature, I can apply my knowledge of the legislative process to effectively represent the people of Henderson County, so our area will still have a seat at the table when it comes to the big decisions made in Raleigh. I can really hit the ground running.


Remillard: I’m running because service to my county didn’t stop with the Army. When I got out of the military and moved here I wanted to continue to serve, so I began to volunteer here in Henderson County. When I saw that Rep. McGrady was retiring, I saw the opportunity to serve at a higher level. I believe that politics can be a job of dignity and respect again, where leaders come together to solve problems that face our community, not just where someone works to advance their career or put ideology above the interests of the community they’re tasked to represent.


The two political parties have expressed different views on the actions of the Cooper administration regarding the coronavirus pandemic. What do you think of those actions? What would you do differently?

Remillard: I agree with the initial actions that Gov. Cooper took to making sure that we addressed this pandemic head on so that we could get a better understanding of the virus and get a grip on its spread, ultimately leading us to flatten the curve faster than other Southern states. However, the long term practice of shelter in place was too tunnel visioned, and didn’t take into consideration other aspects of our society, such as putting in place a plan to ensure the survival of our economy or getting our education system back on track.

Moffitt: I would have based my decisions on the data, focused on the most vulnerable populations, and be guided by the need to find balance between people’s health and their economic well-being. Gov. Cooper’s actions and his metrics seem arbitrary to me. His lockdown has been a disaster for small businesses across the state — thousands of which are now facing permanent closure and bankruptcy. For the vast majority of the population, the survival rate for those infected with Covid-19 is well over 99 percent. Should we continue to be vigilant? Of course. But it’s way past time to open up.

Gov. Cooper and the Legislature have been in a standoff over Medicaid expansion for four years. What is your position on Medicaid expansion?


Moffitt: I am against expanding Medicaid. Is it fair to overwhelm an already broken system with a massive influx of able-bodied 25-year-olds, allowing them to compete with the sick and disabled for what is limited and often substandard care? I don’t think so. And expanding Medicaid over the next decade would require billions in additional state funds. How will we pay for that? I agree with our State Auditor, Beth Wood, who happens to be a Democrat. She said last year that “you just can’t keep putting a bunch of people into a system that is already broken.”

Remillard: Many families across our Henderson County are struggling, bearing the weight of the rising cost of premiums, co-pays, prescription drugs and medical field profits. It’s the sole purpose of our General Assembly to lighten that weight. A healthy society means an active, productive, and prosperous economy. That’s why I will work to expand Medicaid in North Carolina, which will help an estimated 500,000 hardworking North Carolina families and will help lower health care costs for everyone, and will save North Carolina an estimated $100 million yearly.

What other priorities do you have for the district you hope to represent and the state of North Carolina if you are elected?

 

Remillard: There’s nothing more sacred in our society and taking care of our children, and setting them up for success should be a top priority. That’s why we need to re-invest in our public education system to give every child, regardless of their background, the best opportunity to succeed in life. Much Like Rep McGrady fought to preserve our natural resources, I intend on continuing that legacy to protect our homeland against greedy opportunists that would poison our land, air and water.

Moffitt: My first priority will be to find solutions to the economic problems caused by the events of this past year. Accordingly, I will be laser-focused on economic development here in Henderson County. I have a strong record from my time in the Legislature growing the economy, which in terms of statewide issues includes tax reform, cutting red tape, improving government efficiency and strengthening private property rights — so those will continue to be a natural fit for me. And I’d also like to take on Rep. Chuck McGrady’s mantle in modernizing North Carolina’s ABC system. I will continue Chuck’s legacy.