Name as it appears on the ballot: David Ulmer
Campaign website: ulmernc49.com
Phone number: 919-539-9486
Years lived in the district: 13 years
1. In your view, what are the three most pressing issues North Carolina faces? If elected, what will you do to address these issues?
- End Duke Energy’s monopoly and let consumers pick their energy producer. This works well in other states such as Pennsylvania and Texas. Renewables will make far more progress in North Carolina if the transformation in our energy production is driven by consumers.
- Continue the work done so far to allow parents and communities to decide how to best educate their children.
- Repeal HB2
2. If you are challenging an incumbent, what decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with? If you are an incumbent, what in your voting record and experience do you believe entitles you to another term?
Rep. Gary Pendleton and the Republicans have not done enough to repeal licensing laws and regulations that make it so difficult for so many hard working North Carolinians to start their own business or find work. Case in point, the roughly 1500 hours of training required to become a “licensed” barber in North Carolina.
3. The most contentious issue of this year―and this election―has been HB 2, especially in light of the NCAA’s decision to pull its championships from the Tar Heel state. Do you believe that the law has provided any benefits to North Carolina? Do you believe it should be repealed root and branch? If not, in what ways would you like to alter it?
HB2 should be repealed completely. It has done nothing good for North Carolina.
4. Currently, twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum. North Carolina is not among them. Do you believe North Carolina should raise its minimum wage―or, alternatively, give municipalities the ability to raise minimum wages within their jurisdictions?
I do think local communities should be able to raise the minimum wage if they wish. I do not think a minimum wage is helpful, but I support allowing local communities to choose their own path on this issue.
5. In a similar vein: beyond the bathroom issue, HB 2 also overrode local antidiscrimination ordinances, which has become something of a pattern in recent years, with the legislature preempting local governments from passing laws it doesn’t like. Do you believe the state too often intrudes into local affairs? Why or why not?
Yes, the State of North Carolina consistently interferes with the desires of local communities. The State should never have gotten involved in Wake County’s school board elections and drawing new districts for it.
6. What, in your view, is an ideal salary for a beginning teacher? If it is more than the $35,000 currently being earned by beginning teachers in North Carolina, how would you work with your colleagues to increase teacher pay?
The ideal starting salary for a new teacher would depend on what they learned to teach, what the market might pay if they choose not to teach and if they would be willing to work in a school that is perhaps in greater need of highly skilled or promising teachers. For example, I would expect a young teacher with Master’s degree in mathematics who is teaching AP Calculus to earn more than perhaps some other new teachers.
7. A federal appeals court struck down the state law requiring voter ID and containing other voting restrictions. Do you agree or disagree with that decision? Please explain your position.
I agree. The court made it clear the law was discriminatory in its design.
8. In recent months, two public servants in the Department of Health and Human Services have accused administration officials of minimizing the risks that Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds pose to nearby water wells. Do you believe the state has taken the proper safeguards to protect drinking water?
Likely not. Stronger property rights would have made it easier for owners to successfully sue Duke Energy for damages. In my opinion the owners of these wells have seen their property value significantly harmed. The State’s laws should be designed to allow well owners to protect themselves in court.
9. The current administration has been frequently criticized by environmental advocates over things like, for instance, the cleanup of Jordan Lake. Do you believe these criticisms are warranted? In what ways do you believe the state’s current environmental policies have succeeded or failed? What would you like to improve?
Wake is a rapidly growing county. The Republicans have not done a good job ensuring a clean source of drinking water will remain available.
10. Democrats have called for an expansion of Medicaid, which would provide health coverage for 244,000 North Carolinians. Would you support such a move? Why or why not?
I would not support this change. The current size of the national debt, the strain retiring baby boomers will be putting on our unreformed social security system, and the projection that the Medicare trust fund will be out of money by 2028 make proposals like this almost impossible to support. Government at all levels continues to spend too much.
11. Similarly, in recent months two large insurers have decided not to issue policies on North Carolina’s Affordable Care Act exchange, which puts those on the individual market in something of a precarious situation. What do you believe the state can or should do to improve its citizens’ health care?
Significantly reduce the amount of regulation that exists in our medical system. Some of these changes will require working with the Federal government. People should have greater freedom in choosing who provides their care. The FDA has too great a role and often stifles progress and competition. It should also however be easier to seek compensation from pharmaceuticals who put defective or dangerous products on the market.
12. Name three things you would change in the current state budget and, if your changes would free up money, what your spending priorities would be.
I would end the sales tax on basic food items. I would eliminate funding for programs that do not fill a core function of government such as NC Arts, and I would increase funding for our State’s community colleges while also working to reduce licensing regulations. Our State’s community colleges do a good job retraining our workers in our constantly changing and evolving economy.
13. Give an example of a time, during your political career, when you have changed your position as a result of a discussion with someone who held an opposing view.
As I have gotten older and traveled to some places in the Middle East, I have become far less enthusiastic about intervening in some situations overseas. I have developed a more focused view of when U.S. military engagement is warranted.