Editor’s note: 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. Today we introduce readers to state Senator Rick Horner.
Name: Rick Horner
District: Johnston, Nash, Wilson
Lives in: Wilson
From: Nash County
Family: wife Patricia; two sons and two daughters
Campaign website: www.hornerforncsenate.com
Previous elected offices? Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education, Wilson County Community College Board of Trustees
Why did you run for office? I hope I can make a difference. … I felt it was a good opportunity to serve.
What do you think will be the biggest issue at the legislature this year? We’re going to see when we get up there.
What’s one specific campaign promise that you’d like to deliver on? I would like to get the lottery money to these counties back for school construction. It’s going to require new revenue because the state is spending that revenue. … If that could work out, I’d be tickled to death. There are four areas he said is well-versed in and wants to make a difference: education, financial services, agri-business and East Carolina University (his Alma Mater).
Do you support a full repeal of House Bill 2? Why or why not? Yes, that coupled with some restrictions on the cities – I don’t believe that we can have 200 to 300 [cities or municipalities] different definitions of gender.
How do you feel about the minimum wage in North Carolina ($7.25 an hour)? Should it be raised or kept the same? I don’t know. When people discuss minimum wage, I ask, what’s your number? I don’t know how that would help businesses or add jobs. He said he would like to break hiring barriers to give working folks without necessarily the right skillset more of a chance. I know the heart is there, he said of raising the minimum wage.
Is the state’s funding for public education enough? I was on the school board for 14 years and I’ve never asked for money we couldn’t find somewhere. I think we really need to look at how it’s allocated. … Everybody’s got their heart in the right place for education.
What changes do you think need to be made in the public education system? We just need to listen to teachers a little more and for people to do a little more. He spoke about needing teachers in the classrooms and not keeping vacancies. There’s a lot of stuff, he said. People in Raleigh are trying; they just don’t know.
What leader do you look up to the most? Why? He passed on this question.
Name your pet peeve: Demagoguery. We need to fix things and stop throwing rocks.
Contact information: He can be reached at Rick.Horner@ncleg.net.