• 72°

Bonnie Clark, candidate for N.C. House, wants to make N.C. “a place to call home”

Candidate

Bonnie Clark

By Andie Foley
andie.foley@salisburypost.com

For North Carolina House of Representatives-hopeful Bonnie Clark, the journey toward public office began in 2016 with the passage of House Bill 2, North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill.”

Clark, a Democrat running for District 77, said the bill’s passage was one of many North Carolina legislator decisions that caused her “grave concerns.”

“I believe in common sense governance, and I am struck by the hypocrisy that I see in the people currently governing us,” she said. “On the one hand they say they’re for small government, and yet they were trying to legislate what’s under your pants when you go in a bathroom.”

So the Davie County farmer did what she could: she attempted to start a dialogue with her local representative. But her attempts accomplished little.

She wrote letters. She made phone calls. She posted on Facebook. Eventually, she filled out a survey on Emily’s List, a national political action committee that aims to help elect pro-choice female candidates to office.

The survey asked many questions: was she willing to participate in protests? Was she willing to send letters or make phone calls? Was she willing to run for office?

Clark said she answered “yes” to all of the above.

And then she received a call from North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson asking her to run for North Carolina’s 31st Senate District, a request that changed when Democrat John Motsinger filed for the same seat. The House of Representatives in District 77 needed a Democratic challenger.

Reluctant or otherwise, Clark said she felt like she had little choice but to step up. She ran unopposed in the primary and will face Republican incumbent Julia Craven Howard on November’s ballot.

“I’m a (Navy) veteran,” she said. “Because of that, I have a really strong sense of duty. … There are issues that I cannot be silent on, and I feel like I have to do everything in my power to restore North Carolina to a place that people want to call home again.”

For Clark, large areas of concern for North Carolina and its 77th District center around farming and the environment.

“There are more farmer suicides than any other occupation in the country because people can’t pay their bills. They’re losing their farms. Their children don’t want to maintain that lifestyle,” she said. “The family farm model is almost not at all viable any more.”

Clark wants to change that. She also wants to ensure that North Carolina isn’t subjected to fracking or offshore drilling.

“Tourism is one of the most important industries for the whole state of North Carolina,” she said. “We already experienced hundreds of millions of dollars of loss because of HB2, because people of conscience wouldn’t come here. … If we poison our land and our water, we’re not going to have tourists coming here.”

Accordingly, Clark wants to make it a criminal act for the CEO of a company if his or her company pollutes.

Clark also said she envisions restorations to North Carolina’s public school and health care systems: she wants higher teacher pay, smaller classroom sizes and expanded and affordable health care for all.

All of these things will lead to more jobs, she said, as would another cause high on her agenda: the legalization of cannabis.

“If we decriminalize cannabis, we will have beaucoup bucks flowing into this state,” she said. “… We are not going to have to raise taxes. We’re not going to have to ask anybody to go into their pocket.”

She also said states that legalized cannabis saw decreases in opioid overdoses, “because it is an effective pain remedy.”

Asked why citizens should vote for her, Clark said it’s because she will truly listen.

“I will truly do what I can to address the concerns, the needs, the wants of people while also educating them,” she said. “I will work work to make North Carolina great again, but I need you to help me do that. If we elect all new people in our state legislature, we’ve got a good chance of doing that.”

Comments

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, professionals reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT