• 30°

In bid for 13th District, Walser hopes to change tone of GOP rhetoric

In a crowded congressional field of 17 Republicans, Salisbury resident Jason Walser is betting on pragmatism.

Walser on Friday filed to run as a Republican for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District, which includes parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties. The district includes all of Davidson and Davie County. When filing closed on Friday, Walser was one of 22 total candidates — 17 Republicans and 5 Democrats — who filed for the 13th District. He is also one of three Rowan residents who have filed for the spot.

With a number of competitors, Walser stressed that he would be “a level-headed, pragmatic candidate.”

“My candidacy is going to be based on changing the tone of the debate, changing the tone of the campaign, changing the tone of the Republican Party and changing the tone in Washington,” Walser said. “I identify myself as a business-minded pragmatist, solutions-driven. The yelling and the screaming and the divisive issues are tearing this country apart and they’re tearing the Republican Party apart.”

Walser, 44, is currently a consultant for the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation in Salisbury. For the previous 16 years, he worked for the LandTrust for Central North Carolina. Most of his 16 years were as the organization’s executive director.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When asked why he’s running for the 13th District in 2016 — his first bid for elected office — Walser said he has worked and lived most of his life in areas contained by the district’s boundaries, which were recently redrawn by state legislators to comply with a federal court order. Walser graduated from Statesville High School, has family in adjacent counties and spent years working for residents of the new 13th District as the director of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina.

His familiarity with the 13th District, however, wasn’t enough to tip the scales into a congressional bid. Walser mentioned political rhetoric during presidential debates and the controversial House Bill 2 as other reasons. House Bill 2, which involved legislators called to a special session of the N.C. General Assembly, repealed a nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte and supersedes other local measures such as minimum wage increases. It’s not an issue Walser would have authority over in Congress, but he questioned the rhetoric and tone used to argue for the bill.

“I thought it was not a well-advised, conservative decision to call the special session,” Walser said. “My conservative roots are: don’t waste money and, if you’re going to do it, make a difference. The General Assembly’s override of Charlotte’s ordinance doesn’t seem to actually change anything on the ground.”

House Bill 2 is unenforceable unless police officers are stationed at the front door to bathrooms to check gender identity, according to Walser.

On policy issues, Walser’s policy positions mirror mainstream Republican stances.

Walser said he supports conservation efforts such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to help purchase land, water and wetlands “for the benefit of all Americans.”

On national security, he said America’s leaders should deal with extremist, terrorist groups but “not be extremist themselves.” Walser said public officials shouldn’t denigrate the millions of Muslims who live in America.

“(Muslim Americans) are going to be the most important solution to dealing with extremists on either side,” he said. “To defeat Islamic terrorism, we are going to have to have our Muslim brothers and sisters helping us out.”

Walser said national security is a separate issue from immigration, but they’re related. America needs to secure its borders and know who’s coming in, he said. Walser added that former President George W. Bush offered immigration proposals in the early 2000s that were never seriously considered by Congress.

“Every year it goes by is another that it doesn’t get fixed,” he said.

Walser says the Affordable Care Act has negatively affected Americans. Congress shouldn’t vote to repeal the measure until it has a reasonable solution, he said.

Party primaries for North Carolina’s U.S. House seats will be June 7. The person who receives the largest percentage of the vote will advance to the general election. No runoff is scheduled.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

Comments

Business

State names Rowan among most economically distressed counties

High School

High school volleyball: South Rowan wins another CCC match

Education

Catawba College’s Service of Lessons and Carols moves virtual

Local

Spencer’s Park Plaza financing gets OK from state’s Local Government Commission

Education

Kannapolis City Schools to hold public hearing on construction equity policy

Local

Drivers identified in I-85 double vehicle crash, fire

Local

Driver cited in two-vehicle Mooresville Road collision

Crime

Tractor stolen from Ritchie Road

Coronavirus

North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd tests positive for COVID-19

Crime

Blotter: Vehicles broken into overnight at Marriott, Comfort Suites hotels

Coronavirus

County reports two new COVID-19 deaths, two weeks of 50-case daily increases

Local

Red wolves have been busy growing up at Dan Nicholas Park

Local

Salisbury City Council to consider contract for street paving

Education

Catawba College honors employees for length of service

High School

High school football: Clay hopes for big senior season

Local

Helen, Ralph Brown contribute to Christmas Happiness to help people in need

Cleveland

Cleveland Police charge woman with attempted murder after Sunday night shooting

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases in Rowan continue to surge after 50 new cases added; 19% of total cases active

Local

Salisbury Police investigating accidental shooting at apartment building

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man arrested on felony counts of trafficking

Local

Motorcyclist airlifted following wreck on Jake Alexander Boulevard Sunday

Elections

Political Notebook: Senate Republicans disagree with Cooper administration halting CARES Act spending

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask about legality of begging in Salisbury, Dominion voting machines

Local

Biden fractures foot while playing with dog, to wear a boot