District 50 NC State Senate speak out
Two Democratic candidates will be battling it out in the primary for the North Carolina District 50 Senate seat.
Jane Hipps of Waynesville and Ron Robinson of Sylva are both seeking to unseat Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, who is seeking his second term. This is Hipps' first time seeking public office while Robinson ran for the Jackson County School Board in 2010.
Name: Ron Robinson
Position sought: NC Senate District 50
Occupation: Retired Management Consultant
Education: BS Industrial Relations UNC-CH
Certifications & experience: Lean production, total quality management, leadership development and adult learning theory, mediation and negotiation, compensation and benefits administration
Have you run for office before? Jackson County School board 2010
Pertinent experience: I have traveled throughout our seven western most counties assisting families in need and assisting businesses and public service organizations become more efficient.
Why I am seeking office: I have seen my hometown loose jobs and many businesses lost. I want to bring businesses back to our counties to reduce our poverty and unemployment rates and increase our economic prosperity. We can do so by strengthening our schools, recruiting businesses that pay wages that pay the bills and by expanding Medicaid for nearly 500,000 of our friends and neighbors.
Top three goals:
1. Strengthen our Schools by putting more teachers and assistants in the classrooms to reduce class sizes, paying teachers at the national average to stabilize our schools, eliminating the voucher system and increasing funding for text books and supplies, Teachers should receive tuition reimbursement for graduate studies with a pay increase upon graduation. We must institute a program for our children to graduate from in-state colleges debt free.
2. Recruit businesses through improving each counties infrastructure including high-speed Internet last mile connections. Align our secondary schools and community colleges with businesses in the area and targeted for recruitment. Redesign the Rural Center to develop Economic Development strategies and funding for each county. Revive the state STEP salary program and provide back pay for the many years state employees have worked without salary increases.
3. Provide access to healthcare by marshalling our citizens to Raleigh to show support for expanding Medicaid, encourage competitive bidding by health insurers and improve state HHS operations in order for health care providers to be paid for services rendered. Insure all state employees retain their retirement benefits.
Through these initiatives we can help every community become an even better place to live for every person living here and increase prosperity for all our mountain counties.
Name: Jane Bates Hipps
Position sought: NC State Senate District 50
Occupation: Educator and nurse practitioner
Certifications: Certified pediatric nurse practitioner — primary care, Nov. 20, 2008 - Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, North Carolina certified master level teacher - school counselor, science teacher (grades 9-12), gifted and talented (K-12). 1968-present.
Education: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, Tennessee, master of science in nursing, pediatric nurse practitioner specialty, master of arts in school psychology at Western Carolina University, master of education - school counseling at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, undergraduate education major - science education, bachelor of arts degree in biology at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia.
Have you ever run for public office before? No.
Please list any experience you feel is pertinent to this position:
With the stroke of a pen our public education, economic recovery, and health care systems have been systematically dismantled. Who better to address these concerns than an educator with 38 years experience, a nurse practitioner who firmly believes in preventative care, and a farm owner who knows how to stretch a dollar? I will, with every vote cast and bill introduced, put the needs of our Far Western counties first.
Please explain why you are seeking office and why you're the best person for the job.
I’m running to be your next State Senator because I believe in strong education, economic recovery and access to quality health care. The regressive bills being passed by the North Carolina General Assembly have restricted voter rights, ignored pay raises for our teachers and state employees, drastically slashed unemployment benefits, denied health care opportunities for half a million of our citizens and given tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations. As a teacher and health care professional I have devoted my life to the needs of our people and I am ready to work alongside you to restore stability for our neighbors in these far western counties of North Carolina and our State.
Top three goals and how to address them:
Our seven-county Senatorial District did not have its voice heard in the last legislative session. Instead, we saw our economic future and quality of life eroded through threats to our public schools, threats to our environment, loss of resources for our small businesses, and reduced access to healthcare.
My top three goals are 1) ensure that quality public education is available to all our citizens by restoring the funding from Pre-K to the University Level, 2) secure private capital, offer incentives and build the infrastructure necessary to reopen rural North Carolina for business, and 3) secure broader access to healthcare by accepting the Medicaid funding for which North Carolina has previously paid.
These steps will create a healthier population that is more productive both at school and work. The citizens of North Carolina — including our children and grandchildren - deserve the opportunity to thrive.