BY JONAH LAWSON
Listed below are profiles on candidates running for the North Carolina House and Senate in Cary High’s district. This is different from the election for the U.S House and Senate elections going on. If elected, the candidates below will work in our state government, not the national government, to create and pass laws. The NC Senate consists of 50 members and the NC House consists of 120 members, but other than this the two chambers have the same amount of power, unlike the U.S government where the senate is more powerful. On February 6th, the Supreme Court ordered the NC Senate and House districts to be changed through the case North Carolina v. Covington. The Supreme Court ordered this change because it found that the NC legislature had unfairly packed African-Americans into the same districts to weaken their influence, a violation of the fourteenth amendment.
NC Senate District 16
Wiley Nickel (D): Ever since graduating from Tulane University with a major in political science and from Pepperdine University with a law degree, Wiley Nickel has dedicated his time to public service. He served as a staffer under both Al Gore during the Clinton White House and Barack Obama, who has endorsed his current campaign. In Cary, Nickel works as a local attorney because he believes that those on trial in the North Carolina justice system should be treated “fairly and compassionately.” He has a wife and two children, whom he loves dearly. His campaign describes him as a “progressive candidate” who wants stronger gun control laws, better public schools, and expanded access to affordable healthcare. He believes it is crucial that he wins because he wants to end the Republican supermajority in our state senate. He beat Luis Toledo in the Democratic primaries 55% to 44%.
Paul Smith (R): Paul Smith is a North Carolina native who received his BA in Political Science from NC State. He married his highschool sweetheart and has three children and eight grandchildren. He was raised to learn and respect the bible and taught his children to do the same, and today one of his sons serves as a missionary overseas. Although Paul has never worked in politics, he owns a small business with several employees. He is a self described “Christian Conservative” who has worked as a baptist deacon since 1972. He supports fewer restrictions on gun ownership, school choice, and strong borders. He ran unopposed in the primaries.
Brian Irving (L): Brian Irving received his BA from the University of the Philippines and his graduate degrees from Webster University and Loyola University. He served in the United States Air Force from 1967 to 1992. After retiring, Irving and his wife moved to North Carolina, which he grew to love when he was stationed here. He has two children and six grandchildren. Although he has never won a race, Irving has run as a Libertarian candidate in District 16 before. He believes that in order to achieve greater liberty in North Carolina, citizens need to have more choices when it comes to healthcare and schooling. He also believes that there should be less regulations on our economy, especially in regards to licensing, which he claims hurts competition.
NC House of Representatives District 11
Allison Dahle (D): Allison Dahle is a Raleigh native who received her BA in Theatre and Music from the University of South Carolina. She has dedicated most of her adult life to helping people with disabilities find jobs by working with the ARC and Columbus industries. In 2003, she settled down at a local law firm, married, and adopted two dogs. She is running for office because she believes that medicaid should be expanded, HB2 should be fully repealed, and common sense gun laws should be passed. In the primary election she beat incumbent Duane Hall, who faced sexual harassment allegations, 68% to 26%.
Tyler Brooks (R): Tyler Brooks received his BA in Latin from Wake Forest University, and then went on to receive his law degree from Vanderbilt University. In Raleigh, he worked as an associate for a law firm and moved up the ranks to partner. Today, he works with the Thomas Moore Law Center and has made a distinguished career for himself and is now a fellow of the American Bar Association. Tyler Brooks believes in increasing funding for teacher pay and school supplies, increasing funding for infrastructure, low taxes, religious liberty, and is pro-life. In the primary election he beat Shawn Hamilton 64% to 35%.
Travis Groo (L): Travis Groo received his BA in Communication Arts from the University of West Florida. Although raised in Texas, he has found a home in North Carolina, where he lives with his two children. He believes in less government restrictions, more choices for children’s education, lower taxes, and more choices for healthcare.
Ballot Measures– a bill that must be voted on by the citizens in order to be enacted
- North Carolina Income Tax Cap Amendment: If passed, this amendment will reduce the maximum income tax the state is allowed to take in from 10 percent to 7 percent. The current income tax rate is below 6 percent.
- North Carolina Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment: If passed, this amendment will enshrine the right to hunt and fish within our state’s constitution.
- North Carolina Marsy’s Law Crime Victims Rights Amendment: If passed, this amendment will give victims the right to know what is happening to the defendant who is accused of committing crimes against that victim.
- North Carolina Legislative Appointments to Elections Board and Commissions Amendment: If passed, this amendment will change the way the State Elections board is appointed by preventing the governor from appointing a member. Instead, four members will be chosen by the majority party and four by the minority party.
- North Carolina Judicial Selection for Midterm Vacancies Amendment: If passed, this amendment will change how judges are replaced if they vacate their seat early by installing a committee of people chosen by the legislature. The committee will nominate two people to fill the position and the governor will appoint one.
- North Carolina Voter ID Amendment: If passed, voters will be required to present a voter ID before voting.