McCall aims to make jump from Mooresville to Capitol Hill

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

After serving six years as the Iredell County Register of Deeds, Matt McCall hopes to make the jump from Mooresville to Washington, D.C.

McCall, a 31-year-old Mooresville resident, is one of 17 Republicans running for the 13th Congressional District seat. He’s the youngest candidate in the race and, if elected, says he would be the youngest person in the U.S. House by two months. McCall has a bachelor’s degree from N.C. State and previously worked at his father’s insurance business. He has also served as the Iredell County Republican Party chairman.

McCall touted his experience as register of deeds as a positive characteristic about his candidacy.

“I don’t know any other elected official that can say ‘hey, in the past six years I’ve reduced my annual budget every year I’ve been in office to a total of 45 percent what it was before I was in office,” he said.

Amidst the steep budget drop, McCall said he believes the Iredell County Register of Deeds office has improved its service. In addition to its main facility in Statesville, McCall’s office now operates a satellite office in Mooresville.

“We’re spending half as much money almost, but we’re operating two locations,” he said.

Changing small things led to the budget decrease. For example, Iredell County Register of Deeds office paid about the same amount for a copy machine service contract as it costs to purchase an entirely new machine, he said.

“It’s just common-sense stuff,” he said. “It was a common-sense approach to running government, kind of like a business.”

McCall said his story of reducing a government department’s budget is an example of being accountable to constituents. The reason for his candidacy, McCall said, is a “long list of stuff that needs to be fixed.”

“There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that we can work on just like we did in the deeds office, to improve service and save money,” he said.

Specific areas he mentioned included: reducing America’s $19 trillion national debt, simplifying the tax code, securing the nation’s border, reducing the cost of health care and improving wait times at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

At various points when asked about his policy stances, McCall was reluctant to elaborate about his opinions. For example, McCall said insurance companies should be able to sell across state lines. When asked to describe how that proposal would affect health care for consumers, he said “Do you want me to explain free-market capitalism to you?”

When asked about national security, McCall said he supports Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s border wall idea. For new immigrants, McCall said local governments should establish citizen boards that decide whether to award permanent resident status. At the same time, new immigrants should face an easier path to American citizenship, he said.

McCall said he doesn’t support amnesty, but declined to further explain the statement.

“Do you want me to Google it for you?” he asked.

With 17 candidates running for office, McCall said he wants to “stay on message.” He pointed out that relatively few people voted in the 2012 lieutenant governor’s race.

McCall will face off against a large field of Republicans on June 7 in the 13th District primary election. McCall briefly criticized State Rep. Harry Warren, who is running in the June 7 primary for the 13th District, for a proposal to give illegal immigrants a restricted permit that would grant driving privileges. Warren has said the intent of the permit is to bring illegal immigrants “out of the shadows” and “get right with the law.” Warren has said illegal immigrants are already driving with his bill being passed.

“If (voters) are looking for somebody that is going to propose policies like that, I’m not their guy,” McCall said. “If they’re looking for someone who wants to fix the immigration issue and build a wall and fix the immigration process for people who apply through legal channels, that’s a policy issue I would like to support.”

The 13th District includes parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties. It includes all of Davie and Davidson counties.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.