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VOTER GUIDE: NC Senate District 48

The state Senate seat covering Henderson, Polk and Rutherford counties became open when incumbent Chuck Edwards chose to run for Congress.

Retired Army officer Jay Carey, a Democrat, and state Rep. Tim Moffitt, a Republican, are the two candidates in the Nov. 8 election.

A native of Rhode Island, Carey, 51, retired from the U.S. Army after serving from 1989 to 2012. He and his wife, Leslie, are the parents of four sons, ages 3 to 24. They live in the Davis Mountain area of Hendersonville.

Moffitt, 58, served two terms in the state House in a Buncombe County seat before winning the Henderson County-based District 117 seat in 2020. The owner of an international executive search management consulting company, Moffitt also operates a boutique real estate firm, a mountaintop vacation and events venue. Raised in Henderson County, Moffitt traces family roots in the mountains more than 10 generations. He and his wife, Dina, have five adult sons, two of whom are U.S. Air Force veterans. The couple lives in the Bearwallow community.

Why are you running for the N.C. Legislature?

Carey: I am running because every woman has the right to autonomy over her own body and I will preserve that right, and because it’s long past due that the state mandates a higher minimum wage for our workers. I am running because no one should lose their lives to a preventable medical issue because our Republican legislators are too concerned with their bank accounts to expand Medicaid.

Moffitt: I am running for the state Senate to improve the lives of the families who call North Carolina home. I will use my legislative experience from serving three terms in the House and my nearly four decades in business to pursue conservative common sense policies that enhance our economic freedom, our economic opportunities and our economic growth.

What priorities do you have if you are elected?

Moffitt: 1) Eliminate the state income tax; 2) Pursue an aggressive course of regulatory reform to lower consumer costs and free up capital for business; 3) Drive down home prices and increase the housing supply by removing barriers that unnecessarily block the development of new homes and hinder the approval process; 4) Increase the Medicaid pay rate for direct care workers and home health aides, including those at nursing homes, group homes and residential behavioral health facilities, and 5) Find alternative, non-taxpayer revenue sources to stabilize the funding stream for North Carolina’s vast transportation infrastructure.

Carey: Preserving women’s rights, expanding Medicaid, and fully funding our public school systems.

There is a lot of talk locally about preservation of farmland and natural open land. What if anything do you think the Legislature can do to protect such lands?

Carey: The Legislature can work with local governments and encourage them to preserve these lands. Using grants and other government funding resources, the state Legislature can help local governments to preserve these important resources that are quickly being lost to developers.

Moffitt: Over the last quarter century, North Carolina has seen an average of 500 farms per year lost to residential and commercial development. I am currently working on legislation to develop a self-sustaining, non-taxpayer funded program that will help protect North Carolina’s family farms. By offering fair market value for a farm’s development rights to compete with commercial developers through a “development rights acquisition fund” we can limit non-agricultural uses in perpetuity while protecting private ownership and saving the land necessary for food production and security.

The Dobbs case overturning Roe v. Wade has opened the door for state legislatures to outlaw or impose restrictions on abortion. What changes to North Carolina’s laws on abortion if any would you support?

Carey: Once a fetus is capable of self-sustained life, that should be the limit set for abortive procedures.

Moffitt: I do not anticipate any legislation moving forward next session that will fundamentally change North Carolina’s laws on abortion. That said, I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record and have been proudly endorsed by the good folks at North Carolina Right to Life.

In 2021 the N.C. Senate passed the Government Transparency Act to improve the state’s Open Records Law in cases of terminations and/or demotions of public employees? Do you favor the act?

Moffitt: Absolutely. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Carey: I do. It’s important to understand why a public servant is either terminated or reduced in position and what impact that has on the public in general. Also, it helps to ensure that the employee was terminated or demoted for as legitimate reason and not being unfairly terminated due to a personality conflict or other unjustified reason.