Republican primary: Senate District 31 (formerly Forsyth and Yadkin counties; now covers all of Davie County, and a large portion of Forsyth County).
- Dan Barrett (Appointed to fill unexpired term August 2017). Education: Wake Forest University, bachelor’s and law degrees. Occupation: Small business and employment law attorney. Career highlights: Seven years as a Davie County Commissioner; 12 years as chairman of Davie County Hospital Board of Trustees; four terms as Fifth District Republican Party Chairman; Commissioner, North Carolina Human Resources Commission; Elector, Electoral College (2012). Serves on numerous community and civic boards.
- Joyce Krawiec (Incumbent. Appointed to fill unexpired term in January 2014, elected twice). Occupation: Real Estate small business owner. Career highlights: Chairs Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Capital Improvements. Co-chairs committees on Health Care, and Appropriations on Health and Human Services. Former vice chairwoman N.C. Republican Party; founder N.C. Consumer Alliance for Energy Security; 2017 National Foundation for Women Legislators state director.
- Peter Antinozzi. Education: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Ph.D. in biochemistry. University of Florida bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology. Occupation: Wake Forest School of Medicine assistant professor. Career highlights: Has been on regional, national, and international scientific review and advisory panels, sat on scientific publication editorial boards.
Republican incumbents Dan Barrett and Joyce Krawiec headline the May 8 Republican primary in a reconfigured state Senate District 31.
Peter Antinozzi also is seeking the nomination. He lost a three-way contest to Krawiec in the 2016 Senate District 31 GOP primary. She got 62 percent of the vote. Antinozzi got 10 percent, and Dempsey Brewer got 27 percent.
Democrat John Motsinger Jr. is running unopposed. He will face the winner of the GOP primary in the Nov. 6 general election. He lost to Krawiec in the 2014 general election. She received nearly 65 percent of that vote. Motsinger got 35 percent.
Barrett has represented Senate District 34, which covers Davie County, and large parts of Iredell and Rowan counties. Due to redistricting he and Krawiec were placed in the same district. Krawiec has represented District 31 since 2014.
The North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation, which closely tracks state elections, rates the district “strong Republican” based on conventional voting behavior.
In an email interview Krawiec said many issues face District 31 but none more important than opioid addiction.
She cites her experience co-chairing committees on health care and health and human services appropriations. “I have seen firsthand the challenges facing our citizens in dealing with this tragedy,” Krawiec said. “As the chair of health care, I am tackling this issue head on. Our district needs a senator with the clout and the fortitude to deal with these important challenges. I am prepared for that challenge.”
Barrett would like to improve efforts to retain experienced teachers in the public schools.
“We have made strides in raising compensation for new teachers, but we are losing too many strong, experienced teachers to early retirement,” Barrett said. “As is true in business, retention is as at least as important as recruitment. Every time we lose an experienced teacher, we have to recruit another new teacher.”
Barrett said he has improved communications between education and legislative leaders, helping resolve the K-3 class size dispute.
“I am committed to working constructively to address teacher retention, and other critical education issues for our local communities and state,” he said.
Several attempts to contact Antinozzi for an interview were unsuccessful. However, according to the Davie County Enterprise Record, Antinozzi said his top, long-term issues are education, health care, taxes, and jobs.
Barrett and Krawiec said Gov. Roy Cooper made missteps in his dealings with a coalition of energy companies building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. He established a $57.8 million fund outside of the constitutionally mandated legislative appropriations process. He said he would use it for economic development, renewable energy projects, and pipeline construction cleanup.
Barrett and Krawiec agree with the General Assembly’s decision to enact House Bill 90. It shifts that money to legislative control, and spends it for education projects in the school districts in the eight counties through which the pipeline would pass.
“Governor Cooper had no authority to enter into such an agreement,” said Krawiec. “I will defer to the North Carolina Constitution: ‘No money shall be drawn from the state treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.’”
She said Cooper spent years as a lawmaker, and as attorney general, the top prosecutor in the state.
“He should know better,” Krawiec said. “Obviously, he wants to continue the pay-to-play of past eras. If re-elected, I promise to continue to be tough, and hold people accountable. I will guard the taxpayers’ purse as if it were my own.”
Barrett alleged Cooper “delayed granting a permit for the pipeline, and then granted a permit one day after an agreement was reached for the pipeline companies to make what is termed a ‘voluntary contribution’ of $57.8 million. This has understandably created a perception of a “pay-to-play” deal.”
“The fact that the $57.8 million payout was to go to Governor Cooper to disburse as he saw fit led many to believe the governor was trying to create a huge slush fund,” Barrett said. “In a weak attempt to explain his series of flawed decisions, Governor Cooper says he set up the pipeline fund to create jobs. The only jobs this deal created was for lobbyists and lawyers.”