8th District race: Barry wants to see job, economy growth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Dan Barry says he hopes to bring his experience spurring job growth to Congress next year.
Barry, mayor pro tem on the Weddington Town Council, is running to represent North Carolina’s 8th District in the U.S. House. U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a Democrat, currently holds that seat.
Weddington is a town in Union County just outside the 8th District, but Barry says he doesn’t think his residency there will be an issue for the public.
“I didn’t buy or rent a house to run for Congress,” he said Monday, during a visit to the Salisbury Post. “I live where I live. I pay property taxes at the Union County seat, which is in the 8th District. My daughter was educated… in the 8th District.”
The major issues in the election, he said, will relate to jobs and the economy. Barry is a regional vice president with the Principal Financial Group.
“I help companies, business owners and entrepreneurs protect their businesses, and provide for them to invest in their businesses, so that they can grow those businesses and hire and expand,” Barry said.
He said the country’s tax structure and regulatory environment are too unstable to allow real business growth and job creation.
“The federal government does not need to be in business,” Barry said. “The federal government needs to get out of the way.”
But growth won’t fix all of the financial problems, he said, so the government should enact spending reductions, welfare reform and economic reform.
Barry said the country should reduce its debt burden by working together to sacrifice on every level, like it did in World War I and World War II.
“All of us need to sacrifice so that we can address the massive spending problems that we have,” Barry said. “What I want is to have a real conversation that drives toward great solutions and avoids a lot of rhetoric.”
He said he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants but also is against closing the border with Mexico, saying another reform solution should be found. Agriculture in the 8th district depends on many workers who are currently undocumented, he said.
Barry will enter the Republican primary with five other announced candidates — Richard Hudson, a Concord business consultant; former Winston-Salem City Council member Vernon Robinson; former Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle; N.C. Rep. Fred Steen, who represents the 76th District in the state House; and John Whitley, a Fairmont neurosurgeon.