In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will talk with some of the newest members of the N.C. General Assembly 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 of the new members. Haven’t been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Rep. Charles Jeter Jr., Republican
Occupation: President of Intermodal FCL, transportation and trucking company,
Lives in: Huntersville
From: Greenville, S.C.
Family: wife Jennifer; two daughters, 11 and 9; and one son, 6.
Hobbies: Plays the golf and drums
Previous elected office: Huntersville City Council
Why’d you run for office?
“It was a brand new seat. I had been in Speaker Tillis’ district for a long period of time. It created an opportunity, and we felt like we could do it. After spending several years on a city council, you realize that the vast majority of decisions that affect North Carolina are at the state level.
We as a Republican Party have to be careful with how we proceed. It’s like we’ve been given the keys to our dad’s car and we have to make sure we don’t drive it into the ditch. We can’t blame the Democrats anymore. We have to be careful not to do things because we can. We need to try to do things because it’s the right thing to do.”
Specific issues that need to be addressed?
End-of-grade testing, the lack of vocational education in high schools, overhaul of unemployment insurance system and infrastructure are top issues for Jeter.
“We’ve got to get to do a better job of building roads where the people and manufacturers are, and less where the politics are.”
How do you feel about:
Voter ID? In favor of it, depending on plan. Open to having things like utility bills stand in for those without photo ID.
Medicaid expansion? “I can’t honestly say I know all the issues on this. We have a lot of people that are eligible that aren’t on it. We have a responsibility to provide financial (help) to people who are qualified and need Medicaid.”
North Carolina’s public schools. Supports charter schools (his three children attend a charter) but has reservations about a virtual charter school. In favor of vouchers if poorer children are treated fairly.
Immigration: In favor of the E-verify problem, but thinks solutions will come to targeting employers, not workers, for immigration violations.
Repealing or eliminating corporate or personal income taxes?
“It makes a great sound bite. It’s always good to say ‘we’re going to eliminate the corporate and personal income tax. But that’s $11 billion of our $20 billion in revenue that we collect in this state. How are you going to replace it?
I’m concerned about the unintended consequences of the law. There are ways we can try to make our state tax system better. We’ve got to be careful about creating a system that does more harm than good.”
Person who’s influenced your politics?
Fmr. S.C. Gov. Carroll Campbell, a friend of Jeter’s family. (Jeter’s father served in the EPA during the Reagan Administration.)
If you had to give yourself a politics a label, what would it be?
“I’m somewhere between the Tea Party and a Democrat. I consider myself a Goldwater Republican.”
One random fact about you:
Once moved to Los Angeles to become a rock star, playing drums with Green Vegas, a Greenville band that still tours (without Jeter).
Campaign website: http://www.votejeter.com/