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N.C. House District 103

Jim Gulley (R)

Address: 2009 Kimway Drive, Matthews

Family: Wife, Suzanne Hargett; two children

Education: associate's degree, Charlotte College (now UNC Charlotte)

Professional background: Established Carolina Computer Systems; worked 19 years for National Cash Register Co.

Political resume: Matthews town commissioner, 1993-96; N.C. House of Representatives, 1997-2008

Top priority if elected: Changing the state transportation formula to benefit urban areas where needs are the greatest.

What is something about you that would surprise people? I am an avid soccer fan when my granddaughters are playing.

Campaign contact info: Home, 704-847-9341; office, 919-733-5800; www.jimgulley.net.

Business ownerships by you or your spouse: None. Both our companies have been sold.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the state and how would you handle it?

Escalating budget. Solution: Zero-based budgeting would save the state millions by identifying overlapping programs and ensuring that each expenditure is justified.

Why should voters choose you and not your opponent?

Experience, experience, experience.

Have you read North Carolina's open meetings and records laws, and what is your level of commitment to openness in government?

Yes, strongly committed.

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Mark Brody (U)

Address: 14230 High Echelon Drive, Matthews

Family: Wife, Lisa; three grown daughters

Education: bachelor's degree, Concordia University

Professional background: general contractor

Political resume: No elected offices.

Top priority if elected: Open government, fiscal restraint and review of expenditures during a time of reduced revenue and election reform to permit more independents on the ballot in North Carolina.

What is something about you that would surprise people? I think the residents of the 103rd District will be, not surprised, but refreshed by having a legislator who is straight talking and determined to get things done.

Campaign contact info: 704-845-1391; www.markbrody2008.com

Business ownerships by you or your spouse: president, Paramount Construction Services

What do you think is the most important issue facing the state and how would you handle it?

We know three things for certain: revenues for the next budget will be less than previous due to the slower economy; our ability to borrow to meet current program expenditures will be diminished due to banks being less willing to lend and/or investors less willing to buy state bonds; and raising taxes during a time of economic downturn will only hurt the state's economy more. What this means is we are going to have to review all expenditures and support the ones we need the most and reduce or eliminate the others in order to balance the budget. I believe I have the ability to do this without raising taxes.

Why should voters choose you and not your opponent?

I am running for this office as an independent, not a third-party candidate, because I believe that our two-party system along with an active and vibrant independent component is the best political system on the planet. The problem we are experiencing now is that the two parties are too polarized and the political center is left vacant. Basically, the system is broken and unrepresentative, and the ability to solve the problems confronting us is reduced to fighting over party platforms and voting along party lines. As an independent I will be free from party loyalties and have the freedom to do what is right.

Have you read North Carolina's open meetings and records laws, and what is your level of commitment to openness in government?

I believe fully with the idea of open meetings and open records. I would also propose, by law, that the state budget be required to be posted online 30 days prior to the governor's signature to be reviewed by the public. This will give the public plenty of time to review the budget and comment on it, not only on what is about to be spent, but also how we are going to pay for these programs.

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