Harris seeks a return to traditional values
In his quest for U.S. Senate, Charlotte pastor Mark Harris spent several hours in Haywood County Saturday where he was greeted by about 15 area farmers and supporters.
After a 40-minute stump speech, Harris fielded questions on everything from farm policy to chances of his success in a crowded primary field.
Harris is one of six announced candidates to date vying for the Republican nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat. Other Republican candidates include Ted Alexander, Greg Brannon, Bill Flynn, Heather Grant and Thom Tillis, the N.C. House of Representatives speaker who is buying early television spots but has failed to appear at a single candidate forum hosted in the state.
Harris told the group his campaign is one being watched closely across the nation. He said he will be emphasizing his lack of past experience as an elected leader and will instead stress his leadership on traditional Christian values. That will include his role in helping pass a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between one man and one woman.
“I’m not working from the inside,” Harris told the group. “I’m working from the outside.”
There will be a lot of Godly people watching his race, Harris said, citing the views of his political consultant.
"He told me, ‘if you get your brains beat out, they won’t step out, but if you win, there will be others like you across the nation who will run for office,’” Harris said. “That means there is a lot at stake in this race.”
Ted Carr, a Republican party leader who organized the event, asked Harris what could be done to help him win the primary election. Harris said he is encouraging those who are registered Democrats, but disenchanted with the party, to at least change their registration to “unaffiliated.”
Voters who are not affiliated with either political party can choose either a Republican or a Democratic ballot during the primary election.
“The marriage amendment was the last moral compass test in North Carolina, and we won with 61 percent of the vote,” Harris said. “When you give citizens the vision of the America I’ve discussed and the vision of Kay Hagan, the people of North Carolina will make the right decision.”
That vision includes restoring a Constitutional leadership, shrinking the size of government, reducing regulations, building a strong military and holding fast to traditional Christian values, according to Harris.
He told the story of the America he remembered growing up where work, faith and family were the cornerstones. Additionally, it was a time when the social needs of a community were met by the church, not the government.
“A generation ago, the secular humanists figured out those who provide the service have the authority,” he said. “That’s when government stepped in and the church stepped out.”
It is time to turn off the spigot of government money, which will lead to the churches accepting the responsibility to take care of the needs of the people, he said.
“The American people have always stepped up when the need is real,” he said. “Help us spread that word. Tell your pastor to help spread that word.”