State Sen. Jeff Tarte is seeking to retain his District 41 seat Nov. 4 against Democratic challenger and political newcomer LaTrice McRae.
The Republican-leaning district covers Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and parts of southeast Charlotte.
Tarte, 58, is a former three-term Cornelius mayor who edged out Huntersville businessman John Aneralla in a tight Republican primary runoff in 2012 to become the first senator in the new district. Tarte had no opposition in the 2012 general election.
McRae, 35, of Matthews, said she hopes to put her experience as a mother and small-business owner to work in Raleigh. She is an accountant who owns Cason McRae Consultants, a Charlotte business advisory firm.
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Her top priorities include jobs, quality education and more resources for small businesses.
“We have seen North Carolina regress over the last few years due to the decisions of our current legislators,” McRae said. “More families lack adequate jobs, causing a hardship in the homes. Public education has suffered due to drastic budget cuts, thus paralyzing our schools.
“Small businesses are finding it more challenging to thrive due to unavailable resources, which have been redirected to big business.”
Besides his political experience in Cornelius and as a senator, Tarte cites his 35 years as a small-business owner, entrepreneur and management consultant.
He said he’s seeking re-election, in part, to provide “a pragmatic and reasonable voice that is open-minded and respectful of different points of view” and “to be a catalyst for dialing down the cynicism and partisan rhetoric.”
Tarte notes his selection as No. 1 most effective freshman senator from a class of 15 by two organizations, one liberal, one conservative. One ranked him eighth most effective among all 50 senators.
His priorities include education, health care and public safety.
He wants to ensure access to “a quality and affordable college degree” and, for K-12 public education, to develop a long-term comprehensive compensation plan “that is fair to every teacher.”
His public safety goals include requiring municipal and county law enforcement agencies to investigate sexual and physical assaults on college campuses, rather than students, administrators and campus security.
Tarte has a major edge in fund raising: His campaign committee had $101,216 cash on hand June 30, the end of the most recent filing period with the State Board of Elections. McRae had $1,845 on hand.