Chaz Beasley, Democrat
Education: AB, Harvard; JD, Georgetown Law.
Professional experience: Attorney at Alston & Bird LLP.
Previous public offices: None.
Family: Fiancee, Whitney & future stepdaughter, Maddison.
Would you support efforts to repeal HB2? I have supported and will continue to support efforts to repeal House Bill 2. I’ve been outspoken against HB2 since the beginning - on TV, on social media, on our website, and elsewhere. HB2 has significantly harmed our local economy, already costing over a billion dollars in lost revenue for North Carolina businesses. It has harmed our reputation as a state, and it has harmed members of our community who deserve full equality and full protection under the law. HB2 is wrong, and I will continue to fight against it in the General Assembly.
Would you support measures to transfer tax revenue from urban to rural counties? I do not support these measures. Currently, sales tax revenue stays in the county where the spending occurs. Localities have budgeted for these funds, and changing these allocations will result in massive deficits for many larger counties. These deficits will require deep cuts in services and public investment that could drive away the very businesses that provide the goods and services that are taxed. While it is important that our state’s rural counties can participate in our state’s success, sales tax transfers are the wrong way to do it.
Would you consider raising taxes for education? Public education in North Carolina is a top priority. For me, it’s personal. I was able to escape poverty and launch my career because of the great public school education I received here in North Carolina. We need to continue to invest into our schools, and, in particular we need to pay our teachers more. However, the best way to do this is by avoiding the large tax cuts to the wealthiest people, most of whom have not asked for them. If we do this, investing more in education will not require more tax increases.
Would you support further tax cuts? Working families are struggling to make ends meet – but politicians in Raleigh are making things even worse through increasing hidden taxes and fees. For example, the I-77 toll project could cost working families a thousand dollars per month or more. Taxes are being raised for many service-based businesses, such as auto mechanics – which means that it will cost even more for a working mom or dad to keep their car running and get to work each day. Eliminating these regressive taxes on low and middle-class families is a top priority. It is critical that we stop raising taxes on working-class North Carolinians while simultaneously giving large tax breaks to the wealthiest among us.
What would you do to improve Mecklenburg County relationship with Raleigh? Currently, there is a major divide between legislators from rural counties and those from urban ones. As someone who grew up in rural North Carolina but will represent an urban county, I hope to bridge that gap. Communication is very important to make this relationship work. At the end of the day, North Carolina thrives when Mecklenburg County thrives and vice versa. I will communicate transparently and in good faith with leaders from across the state and across the aisle. The future of our city, our county, and our state depends on it.
Beth Danae Caulfield, Republican
Education: B.S. Hotel Lodging Mgmt/Entrepreneurship - Johnson & Wales University, Summa Cum Laude / Avionic Electronic Technical Degree - U.S. Air Force.
Professional experience: US Air Force-Avionic Electronics; IBM - Research & Development-QA; Real Estate Broker - 18 years.
Previous public offices: Huntersville Town Commissioner.
Family: Husband, Joe (30 years), 3 Children: Brittany(spouse:Julian), Sam, & Caleb
Would you support efforts to repeal HB2? I believe the law needs to be re-written and the controversial and critical issues need to be in their own standalone bills. Governments’ primary role is to provide for public safety. I am supportive of the first aspect of the bill which is to ensure the safety of our citizens. We cannot have laws that allow for loopholes that risk anyone’s safety and especially our children. If there is a need to help some in our society feel comfortable with regards to which bathroom they use, then let’s sit down at the table and have a respectful discussion on how we may accommodate their need without disregarding the needs of the vast majority. As to the second aspect of the bill, I am never for anyone being allowed to harm another in the work place. I personally need to see much more research in order to understand and make an informed decision.
Would you support measures to transfer tax revenue from urban to rural counties? I would be open to a discussion about this and to hear from all sides. But we cannot increase the tax burden on those choosing to live in urban areas solely for those choosing to live in the rural area. Taxes should be spread across the state for things such as Public Safety, Roads, and Education but we need to be careful about raising taxes for any of our citizens.
Would you consider raising taxes for education? No. But I am definitely for increasing revenue to education for teacher pay as well as investment in school buildings, technology, as well as creative hands on training, and trade school type training. We must look for ways to cut spending on unnecessary items instead of choosing the easy way of increasing our taxes. Let’s look for the waste.
Would you support further tax cuts? I am always for reducing the tax burden. However, having worked with multi-million dollar budgets in the past I know that we have to allow for growth for things such as our Police Force, Roads, Schools/Teachers, Retirement system, etc. It sounds great to just say yes to tax cuts but the challenge will be trying to hold taxes firm while keeping up with our states’ growth and improvements.
What would you do to improve Mecklenburg County relationship with Raleigh? The same thing I did as a Commissioner; initiate the effort to meet with people in order to collaborate and build rapport regardless of party. As a Commissioner one of the first things I asked our Town Manager to implement was to have work sessions with staff and elected officials before major votes. No one person has all of the best ideas. We need leaders that will have the courage to bridge the divide and begin creating an atmosphere that puts citizens above party and results above ego.