Poindexter challenging Stevens in House

By Tom Joyce - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com
Stevens -
Poindexter -

Incumbent state Rep. Sarah Stevens is seeking re-election in House District 90, being challenged in the Republican primary by Allen Poindexter.

As a result of redistricting to go into effect after the 2018 election season, District 90 will include 18 precincts in Surry County. Eleven others will shift to District 91 now served by Rep. Kyle Hall of King, a Republican who has no GOP primary opposition.

The same set of questions was posed to both Stevens and Poindexter to give voters an idea on how they stand on issues, with their responses appearing here.

Name: Sarah Stevens

Office sought: N.C. House of Representatives District 90 seat

Age: 58

Community of residence: Surry

Occupation: Attorney

Previous political or relevant experience: I have been in the House for the past nine years. This is my fifth term. I am now speaker pro tempore of the House.

Question No. 1: Why are you running for this position?

Answer: I have kept in touch with the citizens of this area to understand what is important to our community. I have also branched out to look at the bigger picture of the entire state. I like to listen to concerns and problems and solve them where I can.

Question 2: What makes you the better choice for the office you are seeking?

Answer: I have the experience to do this job. I have the legal expertise to understand the law and its consequences. I also have the ability to look at the other statutes around what is filed to fully understand the bills.

Question 3: The opioid crisis has become a major issue for the nation as a whole. How should this be addressed on the state level?

Answer: We have been tackling the issue by adding opioids to the pharmacy tracking records. We are working with the medical society to limit the prescribing of these drugs. We have made naloxone more readily available to reverse drug overdoses. I am looking to expand the involuntary commitment procedure to include drug overdoses. Once committed and detoxed, there is a medicine that makes doing further opioids ineffective.

Question 4: Illegal immigration continues to be a concern for this district and North Carolina as well as the U.S. How can you make a difference on this issue?

Answer: Immigration enforcement is an obligation reserved to the federal government. In the state, we can identify illegal immigrants in the criminal justice system and contact ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for action. We are looking at ways to financially deter sanctuary cities. We are making sure the jobs in North Carolina go to the citizens and residents who are lawfully here.

Question 5: What is the best way to meet the need for more mental health treatment services?

Answer: We need to find the most effective and efficient programs and duplicate them. We need to cut down on red tape to get access to those who need treatment.

Question 6: Other than the issues already discussed, what is another big need you see in the state or district and how will you deal with that?

Answer: School safety has been a critical issue. Our interim committees have broke the study down to addressing physical safety and mental health issues. Physical safety discussions include more school resource officers and training for all staff.

The mental health segment has talked of the need for more psychologists and social workers in the schools. We also looked at mentoring and peer-to-peer groups to deal with bullying issues and with isolation issues faced by students. I personally believe that we need to return more disciplinary authority to the classroom.

Question 7: Is there anything else you would like to say regarding your candidacy?

Answer: I have been humbled by the confidence the citizens of this area have placed in me to serve in this capacity. I will continue to do my best to identify issues and look for solutions.

**********

Name: Allen Poindexter

Office sought: The District 90 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives

Age: 40

Community of residence: Beulah

Occupation: Self-employed

Previous political or relevant experience: Active worker within the Republican Party, including serving as a campaign staff helper for 20 years.

Question No. 1: Why are you running for this position?

Answer: I believe it is time for one of us to represent the common person in District 90. For decades, career politicians have not met our needs. I want to represent all the constituents in this area. I want to be a man of the people for the people.

Question 2: What makes you the better choice for the office you are seeking?

I am not seeking a stepping stone to a higher political career. I am not involved in any special-interest groups except the interest of the people of District 90.

Question 3: The opioid crisis has become a major issue for the nation as a whole. How should this be addressed on the state level?

First, drug companies, doctors and pharmacies must be held accountable for dispensing opioids responsibly. There must be a better system to keep people from getting multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors and pharmacies.

Second, we must provide help and healing for the ones addicted to opioids and stiff penalties for those selling them illegally.

Question 4: Illegal immigration continues to be a concern for this district and North Carolina as well as the U.S. How can you make a difference on this issue?

Answer: The people need to understand that there is a difference between an illegal alien and an immigrant trying to become a citizen and live the American Dream. Beyond building a wall, we should not be giving free financial and medical help to those coming illegally which is meant for Americans. This will not make it excessively appealing to come here without going through the proper channels. These are the things I would push for — we need to meet the needs of North Carolinians and U.S. citizens first and foremost.

Question 5: What is the best way to meet the need for more mental health treatment services?

Answer: The biggest issue I have heard from social workers, teachers and counselors is that people are being pushed through the system with a revolving door. We need to invest in having adequate services and people to provide help. We need to require and accept referrals from families, law enforcement, medical personnel and educators. These must be taken seriously. We should have a database for mental health professionals to share information and inform proper authorities about aggressive mental illness in their area.

We also must realize, invest and be preemptive regarding the many people with non-aggressive mental illness and realize the stress that it places on the individual and the resources of our state. We must give timely treatment for the benefit of the whole society.

Question 6: Other than the issues already discussed, what is another big need you see in the state or district and how will you deal with that?

Answer: The Second Amendment must be protected. No new restrictions need to be placed on gun ownership, rather than the ones that exist and need to be enforced.

The economy of District 90 must be addressed. We must make ourselves attractive to industry. Investing in growth can be done in many ways. I believe to be competitive we must be willing to show we are serious about industry by putting our money where our mouth is — tax breaks and city/town services are a small price to pay for putting people to work and increasing the tax base.

Question 7: Is there anything else you would like to say regarding your candidacy?

Answer: I have made all attempts to run an honest and clean campaign. My reputation and integrity is very important to me, so when I say I will be your voice, I mean it — I will make time to listen to any and all concerns and needs. I will fight for needed change and will not play politics with your lives and our children’s future.

Thank you for your support.

Stevens
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Sarah-Stevens-2018.jpgStevens

Poindexter
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Poindexter-mug.jpgPoindexter

By Tom Joyce

tjoyce@civitasmedia.com

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.