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Bradford for House; Arnold for Senate

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    Our recommendation for N.C. Senate District 40 will be published later this week.



N.C. House 98

Three Republicans are vying in a primary for the N.C. House 98 seat being vacated by House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is running for the U.S Senate. All three – John Bradford, Sharon Hudson and Lynette Rinker – are touting conservative credentials to match Tillis’ record.

We are not likely to agree with any of them on many issues just as we have frequently been at odds with Tillis. But their philosophy matches many in this district.

Hudson is a political newcomer who does not have the experience or knowledge of the issues that Bradford and Rinker bring. So the choice is essentially between Rinker and Bradford, who were both on the Cornelius Town Council (Bradford still is). Rinker was twice elected to the board and served as both mayor pro tem and mayor. Bradford also was elected twice.

They both highlight their business experience. Bradford is CEO and Founder of Park Avenue Properties, a business he grew into one of the largest real estate investment firms in the state. He also worked at IBM as a sales manager and sales executive and was an environmental engineer with ExxonMobil.

Rinker is business manager for Isaacs + Associates Architects, a Cornelius architecture firm. She also was once director of budgets and facilities planning for the University of South Carolina.

They share very similar views on the issues with both favoring lower taxes, the General Assembly’s tax reforms, providing adequately for education and ensuring that regulations are not burdening businesses.

Either would be consistent with the majority in this district and those constituents’ interests. The winner faces Democrat Natasha Marcus in November.

We give the nod to Bradford, who is better versed on the issues facing the state and the district, and more thoughtful and straight-forward in how he would tackle them.

Bradford says he will be an informed and deliberate representative who will listen to all constituents and weigh the pros and cons of each issue before reaching a conclusion. Constituents should hold him to that. He also said he will continue to be accessible and available to anyone in the district.

He has shown an ability to think creatively about problems and to get things done. We recommend John Bradford.

N.C. Senate 39

It’s been a rocky eighth N.C. Senate term for Bob Rucho.

He helped lead the push for a law last year that removed city control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, angering Democrats and Republicans in Mecklenburg County and prompting a still-unresolved dispute between Charlotte officials and state lawmakers.

He threw a legislative tantrum last June when tax reform didn’t go his way, resigning his Finance Committee co-chairmanship after the Senate rejected his tax plan.

He drew nationwide scorn, including from his party, for a December tweet that said Obamacare has “done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined.” And just for good measure, he answered a critical tweet a month later with this middle school retort: “look in the mirror and you will see the moron.”

Rucho now faces a legitimate Republican primary challenge for his N.C. District 39 seat. Matt Arnold, an attorney and south Charlotte native, is appealing to voters who want a strong conservative without the embarrassing headlines.

There’s not much ideologically that separates the 65-year-old Rucho and 35-year-old Arnold. Both advocate for smaller government. Both support lower personal and corporate income taxes. Both support giving parents more choices for their children’s education, including charter schools. All of which aligns with the largely conservative southern Mecklenburg district.

Arnold says, however, that Rucho has strayed from conservative principles. Rucho’s support of an airport commission would have created more government bureaucracy, not less, Arnold says. He also points to a 2011 law co-sponsored by Rucho that removed control of billboard regulations from cities and towns. Like the airport commission, that legislation unnecessarily took power from local government, Arnold says.

He’s right. Rucho has been an inconsistent conservative, and his tweets and combative demeanor are unbecoming of a public official. Voters who want a mature representative should choose Arnold.

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