N.C. Policy Watch is chatting 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 the new members. Haven’t been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at [email protected] .
Name: state Rep. Paul Tine , Democrat
Occupation: owner of E.R. Midgett Insurance Agency 
Lives in: Kitty Hawk
From: Born in West Virginia. Lived in Maryland and Virginia as well.
Family: wife Whitney; two boys, ages 6 and 11
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting and participating in sprint (short-distance) triathlons.
Previous elected offices, if any: No.
Why’d you run for office? Did a lot of community service with local Chamber of Commerce, and with economic development non-profits and wanted more influence to bring economic development to the area. “You keep pushing because there’s opportunity in this region and I was hoping to work on some of those opportunities in a more constructive way.”
What are the major challenges this year?
“Our biggest issue is the rural-urban divide. We’re making a lot of changes to our education system, our transportation system, our system – there’s a lot of changes that are coming. We need a more diversified economy across the whole state, to include our rural areas.”
What is one specific issue that you’ think needs addressing?
Economic development. “It’s the work that I’ve been doing, it’s what drives me. I hate to see opportunity left on the table.”
How do you feel about:
- Voter ID? Opposed to bill that would disenfranchise voters, but open to other Voter ID proposals. “My district is largely for voter ID. As long as we can do it in a way that minimizes actual and perceived fraud, while making sure that we don’t disenfranchise voters. There are some ways to do that.”
- Medicaid expansion? In favor. “I voted for the expansion of Medicaid (and against House Bill 4), mainly because of our rural hospitals.” Says rural hospitals treat many uninsured patients, and need a way to recoup their expenses, something an expanded pool of Medicaid would help with. “A lot of the money that would have come would have been put back into our hospitals. We have to have our rural hospitals.”
- North Carolina’s public school system : “We need to retool our educational system. We need to get all our students connected at our schools and our homes. We need to them the education so that they can work in the jobs that are being created. It’s probably the biggest piece to economic development that we can do.”
- Immigration: “We have to take a balanced approach to immigration. We have a lot of hard-working people that come here and are productive member s of the economy.”
What historical or other figures have influenced your politics?
“There’s been a lot of the people in the center over time that I respect. The center is a hard place to be, you get pushed from both sides.” Admires Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton (in his second term
How do you describe your politics? Centrist
Something about you most people don’t know:
Worked as a line cook when he was 15, and has loved cooking since.