CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES: N.C. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DIST. 54

Walter Petty, candidate for N.C. House of Representatives

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Editor's Note: All candidates were sent two questionnaires by the News + Record. The first asked general questions about candidates and their goals for each role. Questions are indicated in bold, any question left blank was unanswered by the candidate.

The questionnaires provided to candidates are being posted here with some editing for grammar and privacy. 

Walter Petty

How long have you lived in Chatham County? (If you live outside Chatham, please elaborate). 59 years (moved for work 5 years).

Age on election day: 64      

Occupation (where you work, what you do): I own and operate Atlantic Power Solutions a generator sales and service company 

Campaign website/social media:  www.electpetty.com

Party affiliation (even if your race is nonpartisan): Republican

Current and previous elected offices held or sought & terms you served: Elected 3 terms as a Chatham County Commissioner (served from 2010 to 2019). 

Campaign manager (if applicable):

Campaign treasurer (if applicable):

Why are you seeking this office?

Our Governor has continually ignored the will of the people; during his time in office he has already vetoed more bills than all of the other Governors combined since we became a State in 1789. Our government structure was intended to be a democracy and not a dictatorship. I’ll work hard to make sure the voices of N.C. voters aren’t ignored by our Governor.

 Our education system is being turned into an indoctrination system for the “WOKE” and parents are being ignored and ridiculed for speaking out. We need a parent’s bill of rights passed in the legislature. Our parents know what is best for their children and we can’t allow their voices to be pushed aside any longer.

What makes you the best candidate on the ballot?

 I have spent my entire life in this district. I know the people, their values, and our history. I know how loving, kind and caring they are. I know what their family values are and what is important to them. I will ensure this District has a voice in Raleigh.  

I have experience and a proven track record in both business and government. I can set a budget and operate within it. Not to mention, I just plain love serving people. 

Give us a job description you’d write for yourself if you’re elected to this seat:

Represent the people in District 54 beyond their expectation with the following goals. 

What three specific, measurable and attainable goals would you pursue if elected?

  1. Support and enhance education while requiring accountability in performance along with a parent’s bill of rights and increased school security.
  2. Support and enhance all public service agencies (Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, EMS).
  3. Strong NC economy and good stewardship of taxpayer’s dollars

What are the biggest challenges in Chatham and/or N.C. right now — and how would you address them?

Covid exposed a lot of our challenges. We knew a lot of our district had poor internet service but when the kids had to remain at home due to Covid it was an eye opener. We also discovered how poorly the kids were doing and what made up the curriculum. Social skills suffered while everyone lived in a shell along with an explosion of mental health issues and substance abuse. Additionally we have been on a decline with trade skills but we found it much worse after returning to work and a somewhat normal routine. Most of the internet and education issues are covered in the previous question however along with the above mentioned goals we need to develop a targeted approach with industrial and trade skills training.

Chatham County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. What do you see as the major challenges/opportunities coming from this growth and how would you address them?

Most of our development over the years has been in housing. In fact that has created a lot of the challenges for this district. There is a huge imbalance in our structure. We became a bedroom community without the development of services, industry and employment opportunities. With the shortage of industry and its tax base there was nothing to drive the infrastructure to support the development. The balance we worked on for the last 10 years is now on the horizon, but once again we are now left to catch up. This will take collaboration of the district representative and the state for the necessary funding. I believe I have the relationships to get this done.

What’s your overall view of the role of the elected body you’re seeking to join? Is it fulfilling its mission now? If not, what needs to change?

I believe our NC General Assembly has tried to do its job representing the people. However, remember my earlier comments about the Governor's veto. The General Assembly is made up of  50 elected Senators and 120 Representatives.  These 170 people by majority should be able to govern the State yet one man’s agenda has been able to stop the will of the people.

Do you believe the 2020 Presidential election produced fair and legitimate results? (Please respond with a “yes” or “no” answer, then, if desired, you have 100 words to support your response.)

One can only speculate unless he or she knows something definitively. I can speak only to the integrity of this district and for the most part our state. Because of years of involvement here I think I can say the process here is probably the most accurate.  The 2020 election is behind us, we need to focus on securing the future for our kids.  

Fast facts:

  • Political/government hero:
  • Favorite book: Bible
  • Book most recently read: Bible
  • Favorite film:
  • Hobbies: most all outdoor recreation, Hunting, fishing, Horseback riding, Scuba Diving
  • Community/civic involvement: Tyson Creek Baptist Church
  • Favorite thing about Chatham County: It’s Home
  • Personal motto or one-line philosophy: Be the change you want to see.
  • Strongest childhood ambition: Be a Navy Pilot
  • Most significant life goal you’ve accomplished: Being a husband and Father with a loving family

Office-specific questions

1. What are the most significant challenges facing the General Assembly over the next two sessions and what would be your approach to tackling those?

  • Support and enhance education while requiring accountability in performance along with a parent’s bill of rights and increased school security.
  • Support and enhance all public service agencies (Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, EMS).
  • Work for a strong NC economy and be a good stewardship of taxpayer’s dollars.

2. Should the state expand Medicaid? Why or why not?

Before I get in trouble with a lot of people let me say “I believe we must provide a way to care for people in need.” Because I have served on boards in the medical field, I have seen firsthand the impacts of uninsured and underinsured patients. That places a tremendous burden on the facilities and increases cost of coverages for those that do pay. Additionally, the system has been cumbersome and inefficient causing it to not be able to serve as many as people as desired. This has driven up the per capita spending to a level too high for services rendered. Additionally in the past there have been a lot of unfunded mandates put on the states. Reform is underway that will address these issues making it easier for everyone to get behind it.

3. The Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical conditions, passed in N.C. Senate but has stalled in the House. Should North Carolina legalize medical marijuana?

This is no different than any other drug seeking approval for treatment. It should go through all the same trials and testing as any prescribed or control substance drug.   It is an issue for the FDA to deal with not voted on from a political position.

4. What is your stance on current laws and access to abortion in North Carolina?

There may be times abortion is necessary when a mother’s life is at risk.

5. Counties across  the state, including Chatham, are seeing major growth in the immediate future. As development continues, how do you believe the General Assembly should address North Carolina's affordable housing crisis?

The growth and development we are experiencing in this district will benefit the state of NC as a whole. There will be a net positive impact for the state, however there will be regional impacts for us. The state may not see or feel the water, waste water infrastructure, and high-speed internet issues we are experiencing. Some of these challenges are not new but are enhanced with the development. I will take the message of our challenges to the House and partner with the state for assistance in a resolution of these challenges.

6. You're an experienced office-holder. What makes you the clear choice to represent Chatham County in the state legislature? 

I have spent my entire life in this district. I know the people, their values, and our history. I know how loving, kind and caring they are. I know what their family values are and what is important to them. I will ensure this District has a voice in Raleigh. I have experience and a proven track record in both business and government as a former commissioner. I can set a budget and operate within it. Not to mention, I just plain love serving people.

Walter Petty, NC House of Representatives, District 54, candidate questionnaire, elections 2022

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