The Republican takeover of the N.C. legislature, the first time the GOP has led both houses since 1898, is a huge shift in power that's brought a lot of new faces, and people new to doing business on Jones Street. In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will try to talk with some of the newest members to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. This will be an ongoing feature, with the goal of profiling all the new members. Haven't been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at email@example.com.
Name: Rep. Jimmy Dixon (Republican)
Hometown: Warsaw (represents Duplin, part of Onslow)
Family: Bobby Jean (self-employed, runs a small used car dealership), three adult children and two adult stepchildren.
Occupation: poultry/turkey farmer, owner of Jimmy Dixon Farm
Education: Wake Forest University, which he attended on a football scholarship
Previous political experience: No.
Civic organizations: member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mt. Olive Ward.
Biggest political influences: Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman and Jesse Helms.
Hobbies: Dixon says he generally stays too busy for hobbies but enjoys golf, reading and attending football and basketball games.
Any pet peeves?: "We could spend a long time processing pet peeves. We have become too much of a tax and spend society. I think we have become a wasteful and to some extent unthankful society. I think we have lost sight of traditional, time-tested values and principles that turned us into a great nation, which are the principles of work, self-reliance, and independence."
How you plan on unwinding from the legislative grind? "I am not retired and my input and my attention is still required in my poultry operation."
Why'd you run?: "I ran for office because I think I can make a difference. I found myself, as one does, becoming critical of the decisions of our local officials. I came to the decision, that if you're going to criticize, you need to become part of the solution. I believe the issues are the same, whether it's locally, at the state level or the national level. We must do a better job of defining the roles and responsibility of government. We need to establish our core needs first and then set the revenue levels sufficient to meet those needs. And then spend within our means."
What do you expect from this session? "I'm an optimist. I do not believe we make mistakes in the difficult times, we are sometimes forced to make the good decisions. I have found that in my own experience, in my own finances, that I make more unwise decision in prosperous times than in tough times.
What (policy-wise) keeps you up worrying at night? The enormous amount of regulatory burden that we have placed upon ourselves. We are becoming an overregulated society. That is not necessarily a statement against proper regulation."
If you had only one victory this session, what would it be? "I hope we can apply a good steady dose of common sense to the legislative process and look at what is right for the right reason and not get so entangled with the partisanship of technically and legally and rule-wise trying to poke holes and try to make it difficult for people to pass good legislation."
Contact: 1002 Legislative Building, 919-715-3021, Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net