The Class of 2015 – Senator John Alexander, Jr.

The Class of 2015 – Senator John Alexander, Jr.

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Name: state Sen. John Alexander Jr. (Republican)

District: Wake County

Occupation: Owns and runs a trucking company, Cardinal International Trucks

Lives in: Raleigh

From: Raleigh

Family: wife Susan; 2 grown daughters

Campaign website: http://www.alexanderncsenate.com/

Hobbies: hunting, playing golf.

Previous elected offices?: None.

Why did you run for office?   “I thought I’d do a good job. It sounds egotistic, but I’m a small businessman and I’ve lived here all my life.”

What do you think will be the biggest issue at the legislature this year? Education, the budget and Medicaid will be the top three. “I’ve got a lot of learning to do, and I’ve got a lot of listening to do.”

What’s one specific campaign promise that you’d like to deliver on? We need to work to enhance the education budget, to raise teacher pay but also try to bring small business sense to state government spending.”

Do you think the state should expand the Medicaid program? Why or why not? Unsure. “I’ve got to learn more about that. I want to know what the cost-benefits are about expanding it. I’ve heard different things.”

How do you feel about the minimum wage in North Carolina ($7.25 an hour)? Should it be raised or kept the same? Fine as it is. I think the minimum wage is probably okay. One thing that people don’t mention is that if you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to lose jobs. I don’t think that a minimum wage was ever intended for someone to feed a family of four on. That’s not what it was designed for. I don’t want to dictate to businesses or any other groups what they have to do.”

Is the state’s funding for public education enough? “It’s a lot, but I don’t know that it’s enough money.”

What changes do you think need to be made in the public education system? “I don’t know. I’m not an educator. I defer to the experts on that. But even among them, they’re not in unison about what needs to happen.” He says pushing more funding won’t necessarily lead to a better education system. “Sometimes you throw money at a problem, and sometimes that doesn’t fix it.”

What leader do you look up to the most? Why? Admires the late Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former Gov. Jim Hunt (a Democrat) “I think they did a good job for the right reasons, I don’t think they did it for themselves. They did a good job for the people they were working for.”

Name your pet peeve: People who talk loudly on cell phones in restaurants.

Contact information: He can be reached at (919) 733-5850, or John.Alexander@ncleg.net.

About the author

Sarah Ovaska-Few, former Investigative Reporter for N.C. Policy Watch for five years, conducted investigations and watchdog reports into issues of statewide importance. Ovaska-Few was also staff writer and reporter for six years with the News & Observer in Raleigh, where she reported on governmental, legal, political and criminal justice issues.