Saturday, September 23, 2023

2020 primary: David Perry, Republican running for House District 19 [Free read]

David Perry is running his second bid to be elected to serve House District 19. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy David Perry)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — David Perry is again vying for a state-level seat in House District 19. In 2018, Perry ran an unsuccessful bid for the same seat as a Libertarian. In November 2019, he announced he would run as a Republican.

A 25-year software engineer, Perry has spent his last five years working at Corning. He lives in the Silver Lakes area of Wilmington with his spouse, Marlisa, and has two daughters and one grandson.

Perry will face Charlie Miller in the Republican primary. House District 19 was recently redrawn to include southeastern Brunswick County and southern New Hanover County.

Early voting starts Feb. 13. Same-day registration is available during the early voting period through Feb. 29. Election Day is March 3. This is a partisan primary, meaning only voters registered as Republicans can cast a vote for Perry or Miller. Unaffiliated voters may select either a Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian ballot during the partisan primary.

James Dawkins and Marcia Morgan will appear on the ballot for House District 19 in the Democratic ballot.

Note: Answers to interview questions appear unedited as provided.

Why are you running?

I grew up in New Hampshire, and one of my prouder moments was being a high school volunteer for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign. His vision put the value and liberty of the individual first. His vision was to transform government into a much smaller and more effective force that safeguarded individual freedom and didn’t attempt to micromanage our lives. His vision echoed the vision of our country’s Founders.

And for a while the vision of Reagan was what it meant to be a conservative, a Republican, and an American. Unfortunately, that has changed. In their zest for power, most Republican politicians have abandoned those principles, and seem just as happy to grow the size and scope of government as their counterparts in the Democratic Party. To finance their stronghold on power they have neglected their constituents and bent over backwards to do the will of corporate special interests. And as a result, a destructive political tribalism has emerged that favors power over principles and integrity. This trend may have started in Washington, DC, but it’s equally as prevalent right here in North Carolina.

So why am I running? In a nutshell – simply to maximize individual freedom and to minimize the size and scope of government intrusion into our lives. To help reverse the destructive trends that have occurred since the days of Reagan. I could go on for quite some time with my policy proposals and explain my pledge to staunchly and unequivocally fight for the individual rights of North Carolinians, from conception until death. But, any movement to decrease the size and scope of government must start with the money. If we eliminate excess money from the “swamp creatures” in Raleigh, we can starve big and intrusive government out of existence. We need to reclaim our taxpayer dollars, and return them to our individual communities, and into people’s wallets. That’s why my plan to eliminate the state income tax is so central to why I am running.

Finally, I must add that I have no political ambitions beyond simply representing the people of House District 19. I simply wish to give back to the community for a few years, and hopefully “pass the torch” to a younger and more liberty conscious generation.

House District 19 has been redrawn and now includes no incumbent. It crosses county lines including coastal communities in both New Hanover and Brunswick County that aren’t connected by land. How do you plan to represent all of these different communities?

I plan to dedicate 3 nights each quarter to conduct Town Hall meetings where I can disseminate information to my constituents and take their questions and suggestions. One night would be at a larger venue in New Hanover County. And the other two nights would be at venues in the Southport/Oak Island area and in the Supply/Holden Beach area.

Over the past decade, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has lost more than one-third of its funding. Should the state increase funding for DEQ?

I would be in favor of substantially increasing the funding of DEQ. However, funding is only part of the necessary solution. Protecting public resources from pollution is a necessary function of state government because it is part of its mandate to secure our life, liberty, and property rights. DEQ is currently an impotent agency that has little to no power to stop corporate polluters. It must be transformed into a powerful watchdog agency. This will take more than money. The Hardison Amendment must be revoked, and a set of “zero-tolerance” environmental standards must be adopted by the state. Furthermore, the agency must be given the authority to stop, fine, and possibly shut down corporate polluters. The health and safety of North Carolina’s citizens should not be dependent on the results of expensive litigation. In no case should the taxpayers or utility ratepayers be held financially responsible for the environmental malfeasance of corporate polluters.

Should the state increase teacher pay?

I believe our counties would do a far superior job in funding and managing our schools. My plan is to eliminate the state income tax, and then allow counties to assess a smaller 3% income tax to use for their schools, or for whatever is most needed in that county. Counties can then decide what appropriate teacher pay is for their schools.

What is your opinion of the current budget stalemate?

It’s sad, but predictable. Political tribalism has gotten to the point where neither side is interested in a budget solution that makes sense for the people. They would rather score political points. Working with people on the other side of the aisle does not endear you to the party elite who only care about maintaining power.

If elected, what local issues do you plan to advocate for at the state level?

My plan is to eliminate the funding for useless and ineffective state bureaucratic agencies and cede the money and the power back to the local counties. Our counties are lucky to get 25 cents back for every tax dollar we ship to Raleigh.  With more money available, our counties will be able to invest in the local infrastructure they need to blossom. For example, I would severely cut the funding and power of the NC DOT. This agency is extremely wasteful and is already $2 billion over their budget for this year. Let them concern themselves with the Interstate highways. We can have county DOTs that can do a far superior job developing and maintaining local roads and bridges.

If elected, do you plan to advocate for stronger water quality monitoring and contaminant limitations of public drinking water and discharges? If yes, what specific solutions do you think are needed at the state level to address the region’s water quality concerns?

Yes. If it’s not natural, then it shouldn’t be in our drinking supply. Period. See solutions described under my answer regarding DEQ funding.

Learn more about David Perry on his campaign Facebook page.

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