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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Name: Rep. Rayne Brown
Hometown: Lexington (represents Davidson County)
Family: Husband Clark Brown (computer engineer for National Cash Register ), daughter Jordan Pitz of Apex and 8-month-old grandson.
Occupation: retired medical social worker.
Education: East Carolina University, undergraduate; UNC-Greensboro, master’s in counseling.
Previous political experience: No.
Organizations (charities, churches, civic groups) you’re active in: active with GOP in Davidson County, animal rescue groups
Biggest political influences: Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh.
Hobbies: Reading, waterskiing, going to the beach, hiking and spending time with her animals (owns six dogs, a cat and a pet parrot named “Peaches”)
Any pet peeves?: “I despise hypocrisy. I really try not to be hypocritical. If you’re honest with me, I will go forever with you. Whether we’re disagreeing or agreeing. I’ve met some great Democrats already, that I just adore.”
How you plan on unwinding from the legislative grind? “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to. During the session, I’m going to spend time with my infant grandson in Apex and want to try and see my family a bit more. I’ve also go to get some time to kick back and watch American Idol.”
Why’d you run?: “I’m not a politician, I am what I am. I’m straight forward and will tell you the truth as best I know. In 2007, we had a budget surplus and those guys went back to Raleigh and in a week and half it was gone. It was the spending that really upset me.”
What are you expecting from this session? “I’m expecting it to be good for the people of this state. Republican have been out of power forever and they have a plethora of things that they want done. I always said that I really wanted to restore some freedoms to us, and I’ve always been about private property rights. We’re going to be passing an eminent domain amendment. I also want to do something about debt. We’re going to alter the ways we incur debt, we’re going to address the tax structure, we’re going to address regulations. This is going to be a couple of horrendous couple of years. I know all too well what some of those cuts can do. I see the faces of those people, because I see the folks on the ground. But I guess I’d rather just take the pill than have the operation. We will be doing every possible thing first before we hurt people, the children in their schoolrooms and the elderly in their homes.”
What (policy-wise) keeps you up worrying at night, when it comes to state policy matters? “The cost of people on the ground, when we’re having to cut budgets. Anyone that loses their job or anyone who loses an aide that they need, that hurts me. Families don’t live near each other any more. Right or wrong, we depend more on government. I have a heart, and this bothers me. But if we don’t do this now, it’s going to be catastrophe. We’ve got to deal with it head on.”
Contact: 638 Legislative Office Building, (919) 715-0873, Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net