Pittman, Young face off in N.C. House District 83 race

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

SALISBURY — Republican N.C. Rep. Larry Pittman is being challenged by Democrat Gail Young to represent House District 83, which includes part of Rowan County, in the General Assembly.

A consultant for Roger Schwarz & Associates who has worked in local government for 26 years, Young said she is a better qualified candidate for the district.

“Our new district encompasses two county commissions, three town councils, two city councils and three school boards,” Young said. “Our local leaders work hard every day to solve problems with school construction needs; balancing existing infrastructure, continued growth, and maintaining quality of life; attracting new businesses, in new sectors; ensuring our community colleges have the support to retrain workers for jobs in new industries.

“We need a representative who will work closely with local officials to fix problems here, not to legislate power or their view of morality,” she said.

Pittman, a pastor, currently represents District 82 in Cabarrus County.

“I intend to continue my efforts to defend our citizens’ property rights, gun rights, parental rights, freedom of religious expression, and the right to life and to uphold the state and federal constitutions,” he said. “I will keep working toward the goal of eliminating corporate and personal income taxes. 

“The turnaround of our state economy due to the reduction of taxes and regulations has been astounding and has made North Carolina the No. 1 place in the country to start a new business, according to Forbes Magazine,” he said. “Eliminating these taxes will take us even further in the direction of this success.”

Young initially decided to run for the N.C. House to fight gerrymandering, but her reason has evolved.

“I believe in neutral districts so voters can select and hold their representatives accountable,” Young said. “However, after spending much time talking with voters, I understand the need to tackle systemic problems that keep people trapped in poverty or that have a discriminatory effect. Throughout this campaign, I have built many relationships with people from all walks of life, and I look forward to representing them in Raleigh.”

Pittman said he wanted to become a state legislator to support average people.

“I ran in the first place because I was sick and tired of seeing average, hardworking, taxpaying citizens neglected and their rights violated for the sake of special interests,” he said. “Thus, my campaign slogan is, ‘Because the people matter.’”

Young said as a representative, she would concentrate on restoring public education.

“I remember when our state had an excellent reputation in the nation, and I want to us work to regain that reputation,” Young said. “My concern is the charter school system has provided choice at the expense of accountability and performance. We need to invest in our public schools, consistent with our constitutional goal to provide equitable education to all students. We need to raise teacher pay to the national average, and we need to expand pre-K programs.” 

She also wants to provide affordable health care by adding transparency in costs and to ensure a skilled workforce by adequately training students.

Statewide, she would focus on addiction and environmental issues, such as coal ash and proposals for fracking and off-shore oil drilling.

Pittman said controlling growth is an important issue.

“The growth we are seeing is outpacing our ability to absorb it,” he said. “Our schools in some parts of the district are getting overcrowded and our infrastructure overburdened. We are losing rural and agricultural territory at an alarming rate compared to some other parts of the state. 

“Overdevelopment, allowing too many homes to an acre in some places, increases the problems with overcrowding schools and traffic congestion and contributes to problems with drainage, increasing problems with flooding in some places,” he said. “More care needs to be taken in making zoning changes to slow this down. Job creation needs to be more focused on jobs for the people we already have, not so much on bringing in people from outside the state for those jobs.” 

Pittman said he is proud of the work he has done in the General Assembly, like sponsoring Sheyenne’s Law and supporting House Bill 2, the so-called Bathroom Bill. He said he would like to continue to work on concealed-carry gun legislation, increasing pay for Highway Patrol troopers, eliminating Common Core and strengthening Sheyenne’s Law.

“I am a constitutional conservative,” Pittman said. “I have committed not to run for more than five full terms and am running now for my fourth. I have enjoyed helping people solve problems through constituent services.”

Young said she wants voters to know she is a Christian

“And that doesn’t mean I want to legislate my view of morality,” she said. “Instead, I follow God’s teachings that we are to be loving, merciful and just. These are the tenets I live my life by.”

Early voting continues through Saturday. Election Day is Nov. 6.