NC House District 105: Stone, Morgan duel in GOP primary

The incumbent

Republican Jacqueline Schaffer announced last fall that she would not seek a third term.

The challengers

Two Republicans are running in the March 15 primary: businessman Scott Stone and former Charlotte-Mecklenburg schoool board member Tim Morgan. Democrat Connie Green-Johnson doesn’t have an opponent in the primary.

About the office

House District 105 runs through southern Mecklenburg, from Pineville to Matthews.

About the candidates

Morgan served on the school board for six years, ending in 2015. A Republican on a board that is officially nonpartisan, Morgan said he is a consensus builder. He points to his election as vice chairman.

Stone hasn’t held elected office. He ran twice for mayor, in 2011 and 2015. Five years ago, he lost to Democrat Anthony Foxx. This past fall, he lost the Republican primary to Edwin Peacock. While Peacock ran as a moderate, Stone ran as a conservative.

Where the candidates stand

Morgan said there are three main issues in the race: education, transportation and jobs.

On education, Morgan said he would push the state to give more flexibility to local districts, especially in areas such as salary structure and the shaping of the school calendar.

Morgan said he supports the state’s new scoring formula for highway projects, known as STI, or Strategic Transportation Investments.

“It takes the politics out of decision-making,” he said.

The Department of Transportation plans to add toll lanes on two highways that affect District 105 residents: Interstate 485 in the next two years, as well as toll lanes on I-77 in south Charlotte in a decade.

When asked whether he supports the toll lanes, Morgan said, “What we have to do as a state is look at all options.”

He said he would like to study a temporary sales tax for transportation, modeled after “Pennies for Progress” in York County, S.C.

Stone said he doesn’t want toll lanes on Interstate 485.

“On 485, how much of a done deal is that? Is that decision reversible?” Stone said.

As a legislator, Stone said he would continue “with what the legislature has done with tax reform.”

“Everyone said we would see revenues drop,” Stone said, yet North Carolina is now running a surplus. “That was all by lowering taxes, and there is room to lower tax rates some more.”

Stone also said he supports charter schools and said the state could increase starting teacher pay.

He said he would be an effective legislator, and noted that Schaffer, who currently holds the seat, supports him.

“I have a lot of strong allies with the House caucus,” he said.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

Tim Morgan

Age: 48

Education: Appalachian State, master’s in public administration, UNC-Chapel Hill

Professional experience: Worked for Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition; Rock Hill and York County Chamber.

Political resume: Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, 2009-2015

Family: Married, two children

Website: www.morganfornc.com

Scott Stone

Age: 47

Education: Clarkson University, MBA Marymount University

Professional experience: President, American Engineering

Political resume: Ran for Charlotte mayor in 2011 and 2015

Family: Married, two daughters

Website: www.Electscottstone.com