Four Democrats, a Republican seek Foxx’s District 5 seat
Rep. Virginia Foxx, the longtime representative of the state’s 5th Congressional District, is facing competition from a fellow Republican in the primary.
Four Democrats also will be battling among themselves on May 6 for a shot at the seat.
The candidates’ occupations and backgrounds are as diverse as where they reside in the district.
One Democrat candidate, Josh Brannon, was unable to be reached by press time.
Here is a look at Foxx and those who are running against her:
If re-elected, Foxx said her plan is to “continue to focus on providing first-rate constituent service to all the people of the 5th District while fighting to defend and uphold the Constitution and our tradition of limited government.”
“Another one of my priorities is to continue supporting legislation that spurs job creation by reducing the federal mandates and red tape that hurt small businesses and entrepreneurs across North Carolina,” Foxx said.
The veteran Republican lawmaker said she also is looking forward to continuing to work on workforce and education reform as well as pushing for reform of unnecessary and onerous rules and regulations to ensure the transparency and accountability in government that citizens deserve.
As a member of the House Republican leadership team, Foxx said she has the unique opportunity to bring a conservative voice representing the interests of the 5th District directly to some of the top Congressional decision-makers.
“No legislation becomes law without going through the House of Representatives,” Foxx said. “As vice chair of the rules committee, I am in the unique position of being able to touch on all major legislation that comes before this body for consideration.”
Promoting strong economic growth and the creation of “good North Carolina jobs” are a couple of Foxx’s top priorities.
Foxx introduced two bills the House passed – the SKILLS Act and the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act.
“These bills will encourage job growth and will get the government out of the way of small business and innovators who want to grow their businesses and hire more workers,” Foxx said.
The only Republican stepping up to challenge Foxx, Doyle considers himself a constitutional conservative.
“The executive is attacking the Constitution, and the House is not defending it,” Doyle said. “In North Carolina, five of the eight incumbents are being challenged. That’s 62 percent of the team being challenged. There is a problem with the team.”
Doyle said Foxx is not a backbencher when it comes to decision-making in Washington, D.C.
“(Foxx) is not an observer. She was there for the complete surrender to the executive branch,” Doyle said. “They promised to repeal Obamacare. They didn’t do that. Every time Obama’s secretary openly flaunts and violates the law, Congress does nothing.”
Foxx supports amnesty, contrary to what people in the district want, Doyle said.
Although Congress has immense power, Doyle said legislators have not formed a single select committee to address issues.
“They have not done anything to put the executive on notice and tell him we don’t like what he is doing,” Doyle said. “The Democrats did that at the drop of a hat.”
Doyle said Foxx has not taken a question in front of the public during her entire campaign.
“I take questions wherever I can get them,” Doyle said. “(Foxx) said she is someone who works for the people. She hasn’t done that in front of the people.”
A veteran and retired inspector general auditor-in-charge with the U.S. Department of State, Henley said she is used to investigating legislation and will not have to be brought up to speed if elected and sent to Washington, D.C.
“Taxpayers will get the best of both worlds. I know how to write legislation, and I know the details of the legislative process,” Henley said. “They can’t call me a rookie.”
Henley, a Democrat, said she is the only candidate to be confirmed by the 105th Congress with bipartisan support.
“I know how to work both sides of the aisle, and I hope people will recognize that,” Henley said.
In addition to helping to boost the agriculture industry, one of the district’s greatest assets, Henley said she wants to focus on helping veterans get the support they deserve.
“Nobody should fight in a war and come home and then have to fight for their benefits,” Henley said. “We enjoy the freedom our veterans fought for, and we should take care of them. No veteran should have to worry about being kicked out of his or her house.”
Voters need to stop putting millionaires in office, Henley said.
“I’m retired, but I came out of the silence to show people that there is nothing in North Carolina that cannot be fixed,” Henley said. “We need somebody with the heart, the skills, the knowledge and the willingness to do it. That’s me.”
A teacher at North Wilkes Middle School, Holleman said he is personally responsible for the education of all children who come through his classroom’s door, regardless of their race or socioeconomic background.
The Democrat wants to take that approach to Washington, D.C.
“Bottom line — I believe Congress is broken. Partisan politics is directing the landscape and creating more problems than solutions,” Holleman said. “I make no bones about being the moderate. I believe that it is time that moderates start working toward the center.”
Politicians on both sides of the aisle who are not serving the best interests of the constituents they represent have dictated policy for too long, Holleman said.
“Compromise” has been labeled a dirty word, Holleman said.
“There are good ideas coming from both parties, but too many times, the other party wants to demonize it instead of working on corrective, good ideas,” Holleman said.
Holleman said he wants to take a “common sense approach” to Washington, D.C.
“I’ve lived my entire life in the Fifth District,” Holleman said. “I remember when we had the tobacco cash crop, the textiles and the furniture businesses. Very little has come in to take their place after they exited. To represent the people, you need to walk a mile in their shoes. I’ve done that.”
Working as a farmer in Yadkin County, Stinson said he has been on both the government and private sides of agriculture in the district.
The Democrat said he is passionate about representing the people of the 5th District.
“My family has been in North Carolina since before it was a state. We go back all the way to coming to Jamestown in 1511,” Stinson said. “I believe we can do better.”
There’s plenty of room for improvement in the district, Stinson said, and that improvement can start with putting a higher priority on education and teaching vocational classes to prepare students for the next stage in life.
“A lot of those programs have diminished or are nonexistent. People have to be more technically proficient in math and science,” Stinson said. “We’re not going to have the low-skill and low-wage jobs we used to have. The jobs of the future are going to be high-skill jobs.”
The district serves as a central area for distribution all throughout the Southeast, Stinson said, and the advantage lends itself to more opportunities to attract businesses that promote better jobs with better pay.
“We need to actively pursue research dollars and actively pursue things we can build upon,” Stinson said. “We also have strengths in tourism and our vineyards. There are a lot of good things that can be done.”
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