Governor

The Governor is the head of the North Carolina state government. They lead the state in areas like public safety, emergency management, and public health. The Governor also tries to turn their campaign promises into new laws and policies.

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There are 4 candidates for the office of North Carolina Governor in 2020.

Dan Forest (R)
Roy Cooper (D)
Albert L . Pisano (C)
Steven J DiFiore (L)

There were 6 candidates in the 2020 primary for the office of North Carolina Governor (Republican candidates, 2 Democratic candidates, 1 Libertarian candidate, and 1 Constitution party candidate.  The primary candidates were:

Dan Forest (R)
Roy Cooper (D)
Albert L . Pisano (C)
Holly Grange (R)
Ernest T: Reeves (D)
Steven J DiFiore (L)
 
Two candidates, Ernest T. Reeves (D) & Al Pisano (C), did not respond to our survey, so you will not see them mentioned below. Holly Grange (R) and Ernest T. Reeves (D) did not win the primary election.  Holly Grange’s answers are preserved below for informational purposes and are marked by a grey background and italic text.

All answers are provided in text and audio files for each candidate. To navigate through the questions you may either scroll through this page to read or listen to their answers, or use the links below to jump directly to specific questions.

The primary candidates for the office of North Carolina Governor were each asked the following questions:

The complete audio of all responses for the Governor’s race:

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Question 1: What are your top three priorities?

Dan Forest

Dan Forest (R)

Business Recruitment. To compete in the modern economy, we need a vision, a plan, and a team dedicated to pursuing new job opportunities for North Carolina. Government Transparency and Efficiency. In the business world, we had to deliver results for our customers. Government should work the same way. Putting Students First. We will protect and expand the Opportunity Scholarship and Education Savings Account programs that help students find the setting that works for them.

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Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper (D)

When I became Governor, I was on a mission to make sure North Carolina was a state where people are better educated and healthier, with more money in their pockets so they can live lives of purpose and abundance. My focus remains on providing better schools for all of our kids, expanding Medicaid and an improving access to healthcare so that everyone in North Carolina can be healthy, and working to increase job opportunities that provide better middle class wages.

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Steven J. DiFiore (L)

Three priorities of my campaign are: The repeal of anti-consumer Certificate of Need (CON) Laws, which increase the cost of medical care for North Carolinians. Ending State Law Enforcement’s involvement with Washington DC’s “equitable sharing program”, which violates state constitutional protections for our fellow citizens. Protecting the rights of local governments and communities to choose policies that best fit their needs without fear of reprisal from Raleigh.

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Question 2: What should be required in SRO training to ensure that students with disabilities remain safe?

Dan Forest

Dan Forest (R)

We will make sure every school in North Carolina has a security officer, and it’s vital that they’re properly trained. SROs serve students and should be aware of their needs — especially those with disabilities. SROs should go through intervention and de-escalation training and be knowledgeable about state and federal rules regarding seclusion and restraint. SROs should also be prepared with the knowledge of how to assist students with disabilities during a crisis situation.

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Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper (D)

School resource officers, like other school employees, should be trained to understand the full range of students with disabilities at their schools, in order to understand the potential behavioral actions and needs of those students. Training SROs on things like IDEA law, characteristics of different disabilities, and de-escalation techniques can help ensure that students with disabilities are safe at school and when interacting with SROs on their campus.

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Steven J. DiFiore (L)

One of the most important skills for an SRO is dispute resolution, which of course needs to be paired with social-emotional learning (SEL). Well developed dispute/conflict resolution skills, along with a high level of social-emotional understanding of those students under their charge will help the SRO accomplish their primary goal of a safe, secure environment.

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Question 3: What will you do to promote more affordable and accessible housing?

Dan Forest

Dan Forest (R)

Government rules, regulations, and zoning add costs and often prohibit local developers from providing affordable housing. We must work with the developer community to determine the barriers to entry in serving this market, and communities must be provided with quality affordable housing to keep property values high. These decisions should not be made in a bureaucratic bubble. In existing housing programs, we must ensure they appropriately serve citizens with disabilities in accordance with all laws.

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Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper (D)

As he has traveled across North Carolina, Governor Cooper has seen that housing is an increasing challenge across our state. Options to address affordable and accessible housing could include expanding the services of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, creating a commission to guide policymaking in the state, encouraging public-private partnerships that allow North Carolina’s companies to be part of the solution, and partnering with local and federal stakeholders to ensure that affordable housing is being considered and included in ongoing and future development.

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Steven J. DiFiore (L)

Remove barriers to gainful employment. Many Licensing Laws, for example, prevent competition and act as an unnecessary government-imposed hurdle toward the goal of meaningful employment. Less emphasis on overpriced college degrees and more focus on the trades will enable NC to develop the workforce of the future. Lastly, by empowering local governments to enact custom solutions they’ll be able to more nimbly tackle housing issues with solutions that best fit their unique circumstance.

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Question 4: What can be done to make employment a reality for more people with disabilities?

Dan Forest

Dan Forest (R)

I believe all people find dignity through meaningful work. North Carolinians with disabilities have unique skills and perspectives that make a real difference for their employers while helping workers lead more fulfilled lives. We can ensure that job-link centers and community colleges are prepared to help people with disabilities who are looking for work. But we also must continue to communicate with businesses with jobs that fit these communities to see what others can learn.

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Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper (D)

In May 2019, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 92, Employment First for North Carolinians with Disabilities, which sought to increase opportunities for fair wages, employment, and careers for individuals with disabilities. The Executive Order directed state government to become a leader in recruiting and creating an inclusive job climate for workers with disabilities. Additionally, the Governor’s North Carolina Business Committee for Education has developed the innovative LiNC-IT program, which provides individuals with autism spectrum disorder meaningful work experiences with some of the Triangle’s top employers.

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Steven J. DiFiore (L)

Improving overall opportunity will lead to a robust job market for all North Carolinians. We owe it to our youth and fellow citizens to ensure they have every opportunity to seek work. Government imposed barriers to pursuing your own happiness must be removed and policies that artificially increase the cost of living need to be reevaluated. In this way employment can be a reality for all who seek it.

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Question 5: What will you do to address school violence without placing students with disabilities unnecessarily at risk of criminal justice involvement?

Dan Forest

Dan Forest (R)

The best way to avoid school violence is to reach students before they get into trouble. Children must be actively engaged in an environment where they can thrive, and we’ll open up opportunities for parents to find the setting that works best for their family. This requires an adequate assessment of student needs to be effective. We will ensure students have basic access to mental healthcare in school and counseling within their schools.

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Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper (D)

Schools, law enforcement officials, and courts should work together to understand students with disabilities and ensure they are not being pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline. Governor Cooper’s Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts, announced new School Justice Partnerships in 2019. SJPs bring together law enforcement officials, judges, district attorneys, juvenile court counselors, teachers, and school administrators in order to keep kids, including students with disabilities, out of the court system as a result of routine misconduct at school.

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Steven J. DiFiore (L)

The primary goal of any dispute resolution should be to resolve the issue at hand and move forward. The current model of focusing on punishment and punitive measures isn’t working. A holistic approach of both conflict resolution in schools and community investment outside of school will help improve the safety, security, and opportunities available to our fellow North Carolinians.

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