Lieutenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor assists the Governor in carrying out their duties. When a State Senate vote ends in a tie, the Lieutenant Governor casts the deciding vote. The Lieutenant Governor must be ready to become the Governor if the Governor is absent, passes away, or becomes incapacitated.

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There are 2 candidates for the office of Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 2020.

Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)
Mark Robinson (R)

There were 15 primary candidates for the office of North Carolina Lieutenant Governor (9 republican candidates and 6 democrat candidates).  The candidates were:

Buddy Bengel (R)
Chaz Beasley (D)
Deborah Cochran (R)
Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)
Renee Ellmers (R)
Ron Newton (D)
Greg Gebhardt (R)
Allen Thomas (D)
Mark Johnson (R)
Bill Toole (D)
John T. Ritter (R)
Terry Van Duyn (D)
Mark Robinson (R)
Scott Stone (R)
Andy Wells (R)
 
Eight candidates, Buddy Bengal (R), Renne Ellmers (R), Greg Gebhardt (R), Mark Johnson (R), John T. Ritter (R), Mark Robinson (R), Scott Stone (R), and Andy Wells (R), did not respond to our survey, so you will not see them mentioned below. Deborah Cochran (R), Bill Toole (D), Ronald L. Newton (D), Terry Van Duyn (D), Allen Thomas (D), and Chaz Beasley (D) did not win the primary election. Their 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 Lieutenant Governor were each asked the following questions:

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

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Question 1: What are your top three priorities?

Deborah Cochran (R)

My three top priorities are Economic Growth and Development which is about as core as it gets. People need a paycheck. I support Education Choice and Educational Efficiencies. Also, Public Safety protecting North Carolinians.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)

1. Closing the wealth gap by promoting an Affordable Living Initiative, which includes: attainable housing, transportation, access to healthy food, & job development

2. Public education

3. Affordable and accessible healthcare - Medicaid expansion

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Bill Toole (D)

Better education through teacher’s assistants; vocational training in high schools; and nurses, psychologists and counselors in every school. Improved healthcare access for teens battling depression, those fighting drug and alcohol use, and supporting aging loved ones. Confronting the real effects of severe weather change as it affects our cities and agriculture.

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Ronald L. Newton (D)

Expanding Medicaid, Criminal Justice Reform, Increasing Funding for Public Education, Reducing Poverty

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Terry Van Duyn (D)

Ensuring all children receive a quality education requires paying teachers adequately, at the national average at least, and providing schools with adequate support staff, technology and classroom materials. A healthy state requires expanding Medicaid and making sure the transformation to Managed Care improves outcomes for both mental and physical health. Clean water and air and reduced CO2 emissions requires empowering DEQ with environmentally friendly legislation and the resources needed to enforce good policy.

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Allen Thomas (D)

My priority is to work to end poverty in our state by fully funding our schools, fighting for a living wage for all workers, expanding Medicaid, and by reforming our criminal justice system.

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Chaz Beasley (D)

I am running for Lieutenant Governor because we must build a state where everyone can live up to their fullest potential and participate in our state’s success. Our inclusive message is particularly relevant to North Carolinians with disabilities, who are often overlooked in our political discourse. To accomplish this, we must ensure that everyone has access to a high-quality education, a well-paying job, and affordable healthcare. Then, we can create an equitable state that values everyone.

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Question 2: What will you do to address school violence? 

Deborah Cochran (R)

Educating SRO about disabilities and bringing stakeholders to the discussions.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)

• Promote & support legislation that bans weapons in schools.

• Invest in the infrastructure to update schools, secure buildings, & classrooms with lock & alarm systems that are accessible from inside the classroom.

• Develop a quick response system within schools, & between schools & local police.

• Train all school personnel in crisis situations & instances of school violence.

• Hire more counselors, social workers, & support staff to prevent violence amongst students.

• PREVENTION

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Bill Toole (D)

There are many kinds of school violence, ranging from the more typical school bullying to the extremely rare, but highly frightening, active shooter. Putting nurses, psychologists and counselors in every school, and assuring broader access to treatment for drug and alcohol use disorders, will do much to prevent issues from escalating to the point of violence.

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Ronald L. Newton (D)

Increase SRO presence. Introduce the Elisa Law in NC to make sure that every school has a panic button tied to local Law Enforcement.

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Terry Van Duyn (D)

Support red flag legislation, that allows a judge to remove guns from someone deemed a danger to themselves or others, as well as commonsense gun control. We also need more support personnel in our schools, including guidance counselors and school psychologists.

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Allen Thomas (D)

I would work with the General Assembly to provide funding to make our school buildings safer. Many schools lack the funding to update their security systems and infrastructure to prevent an incident. Many older campuses were built with an open layout which causes students to have to go outside to go from one building to the next.

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Chaz Beasley (D)

We must take a comprehensive approach to ending school violence. First, our schools should hire more psychologists. This will allow students to see a mental health professional quickly. However, much of what happens in school is directly affected by what happens outside. We cannot stop school violence without addressing the socioeconomic challenges that students face outside the classroom. We must also make changes to laws that increase gun safety while being consistent with our constitution.

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

Deborah Cochran (R)

This concerned has been addressed with government subsidized housing in many areas. As a former mayor in my hometown, many subsidized apartments were built. A need must be determined and move forward from there.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)

• Affordable Living Initiative

• Comprehensive Legislative Study to review laws/policies that hamper affordable housing

•Eviction expungement program

• Increase financial resources for the NC Housing Finance Agency

•Implement energy efficiency conversion programs for existing stick built/mobile/modular homes

• Study ways to upgrade inaccessible homes or repair “sick homes”

•Study tax structures in areas of rapid gentrification which may push people out of their homes

Audio (English):

Bill Toole (D)

The affordable housing issue is at root an income disparity issue. While we must undertake efforts to increase the affordable housing stock through public-private partnerships that can include land trust arrangements, development tax credits and the like, the only longterm solution will be educating our citizens for family sustaining employment.

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Ronald L. Newton (D)

Lobby local officials to require developers to underwrite an affordable housing platform when they build a certain number of units. Ask County officials to consider approving subsidies for affordable housing.

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Terry Van Duyn (D)

The Housing Trust Fund needs to be fully funded to provide local governments with the seed capital they need to bring resources, including tax credits, non-profit dollars, and developers to the table.

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Allen Thomas (D)

I would increase the tax incentives for developers looking to build affordable housing. I would also be willing to look at allowing local governments to reduce the local property tax liability for multi-unit projects that qualify as affordable housing.

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Chaz Beasley (D)

I grew up in poverty, so I understand how important it is to have safe housing. First, we must build more housing where there are transit options. This allows people who are unable to drive to travel easily. We must also bring old, unsafe housing up to code. No family should have to live in an unsafe place because it is the only place they can afford. Everyone deserves a great place to call home.

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Question 4: How will you work to improve the Medicaid program?

Deborah Cochran (R)

Medical experts and stakeholders including policy makers address this complex issue. I was in a televised forum and mentioned that I support Medicaid for the disabled and elderly who are not able to work.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)

My priority is not just improving the Medicaid program, but encompasses overall affordable healthcare in NC. The first part of this is to promote & encourage Medicaid Expansion throughout the state to cover the 600,000 people who are uninsured in NC. Other areas passing and implementing the SAVE Act (expanding nursing roles), include telemedicine expansion, lower drug costs, saving rural hospitals, & expanding & improving healthcare services in underserved areas.

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Bill Toole (D)

Medicaid expansion is the single most urgent action that can be taken at this time.

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Ronald L. Newton (D)

Medicaid pays 100% of the cost of treatment. I will demonstrate to legislators that we need to expand Medicaid to actual reduce the cost of Health Care in NC. Medicaid must be look at differently than M4A. I want to also get voter petitions signed to support expanding Medicaid. I would like to build a ground swell of business support as well. Let’s eliminate the party politics.

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Terry Van Duyn (D)

NC is moving to Managed Care. To be effective, we must ensure each Medicaid recipient has a healthcare provider that can make sure they have what they need to be healthy. It is critical, therefore, that we expand Medicaid to bring additional resources to North Carolina. (It was while advocating for Medicaid Expansion that I had my microphone cut on the Senate floor.) I will also work to remove the cap on Innovation Waiver slots.

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Allen Thomas (D)

I would start by expanding Medicaid to the 600,000 residents who fall in the gap. I would then assemble a team to determine best practices in other states so that we can update our Medicare plan offerings to offer comprehensive care to our most vulnerable residents.

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Chaz Beasley (D)

Expanding access to Medicaid is a key first step - I am a cosponsor of the bill to get that done. We must also ensure that the increasing cost of healthcare does not result in shortsighted cuts that worsen the quality of care. Instead, we must focus on care that identifies potential health issues early and prevents them from worsening. We must also expand mental healthcare options for Medicaid participants.

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Question 5: What should be required in SRO training to ensure that students with disabilities remain safe without placing students with disabilities unnecessarily at risk of criminal justice involvement?

Deborah Cochran (R)

SRO Officers and increased security and extensive training.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley (D)

Trainings that provide sessions devoted to students with disabilities, with an emphasis on invisible disabilities. Include modules to help in the areas of special circumstances & cultural diversity that can de-escalate crisis situations. Use certified & qualified instructors for these trainings, including role-play & situational exercises to provide real-life experience that can be recalled in a heated moment or altercation. SROs’ primary function in schools should be to protect students, not to police them.

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Bill Toole (D)

SRO training must recognize that behavioral health issues are not criminal justice issues. Advance conflict de-escalation training must be required for every SRO. SROs should be supported by nurses, psychologists and counselors who have been put in each school.

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Ronald L. Newton (D)

Disability students should be treated as regular students. Ensuring that they understand policies and rules will allow for proper socialization during school hours. Having officers that circulate as they should makes a difference in a limited space such as a school. Safety is based upon attention to detail.

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Terry Van Duyn (D)

We need sound, trauma-informed school discipline policies that include positive behavioral supports in order to create a school-wide culture that maximizes learning and minimizes involvement with the criminal justice system. SRO training must reflect that, focusing on de-escalation techniques including kinesics (reading behaviors), paraverbal communication (i.e. tone of voice), and principles of behavior change. The use of restraints or removal should be limited to emergency situations when there is an imminent threat to other students.

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Allen Thomas (D)

Special training should be provided to SRO’s on how to handle situations dealing with students with disabilities. It must be understood that these students oftentimes lack the ability to control their actions due to no fault of their own. SRO’s must be familiar with common disabilities and how to best approach a student in volatile situations.

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Chaz Beasley (D)

SROs must receive, at minimum, comprehensive mental health and implicit bias training. It is important that we do not misidentify mental health issues as simple disciplinary problems. Particular groups of children (including disabled children of color and children from low income homes) are more likely to have in-school issues treated as criminal ones. Ensuring that officers are well-trained and knowledgeable about mental health and implicit bias ensures the best outcomes for students and schools alike.

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