Voters from Lee, Harnett and Johnston Counties will head to the polls again Tuesday, July 17 for a runoff election for the new N.C. Senate District 12 seat. Meet the two Republican candidates that will go head to head next week.
Don Davis was a retired Army officer and had become a business owner when he really felt like the government was pulling at his wallet.
“I was tired of the government regulating all my money,” Davis said.
He ran for the U.S. Congress twice unsuccessfully and decided to bow out from the national level. However, the Republican caucus approached Davis and asked him to run for a N.C. Representative instead. He won the seat in 1994 and held it for four terms.
Now, Davis believes he is the best fit to represent District 12.
“I’m a friend to the people,” Davis said. “I’m not a deal cutter.
“I believe in giving straight answers.”
Davis also thinks raising taxes should be a last resort and the government should stay out of the way of farmers and small business owners.
“That’s why we have a lot of people out of work today,” he said.
Instead, lawmakers have to be careful when setting regulations.
In fact, job creation is the number one priority for Davis. He believes industry should be left alone as much as possible.
Another priority is to cap spending as well as the gas tax. Davis said the state needs to have a balanced budget and he wants to see how money would be spent before the decision is made to raise taxes.
“Raleigh doesn’t need more money,” he said. “What they need is management.”
And he wants to see improvement in the state’s education system.
“I want to see result for every dollar that we put into education,” Davis said.
He believes the education system needs competition, not more money thrown its way. Instead, Davis would like to see more emphasis placed on helping students on a vocational track.
As a way to make that happen, credit – and higher pay – needs to be given where it is due.
“Our teachers should be the best paid people there is,” Davis said.
Davis went into the Army as a private in 1946 and retired after more than 20 years of service. He was a member of the airborne and the Quartermaster Corps where he managed depot stock. He also worked for the Department of Defense, buying goods for commissary stores at bases overseas.
Davis was born in Mississippi, but grew up on a farm in Missouri. He came full circle later in life when he began farming produce on his 15-acre farm in Erwin.
“I’ve worked my whole life, ever since I was 11,” Davis said.
Work, along with God, country and family are the principals that Davis deems the most important. While he isn’t worried about the upcoming runoff election, he said he doesn’t take anything for granted.
“I put it in God’s hands,” he said.
Ronald Rabin lives his life by the saying, “Deeds, not words.”
A retired Army Colonel, Rabin commanded a battalion in Vietnam and worked for more than 20 years in aerospace and defense programs. He plans to help run North Carolina’s Senate the same way – with level-headed thinking and the mission to defend the Constitution.
“I think we have to take action to get going in the right direction,” he said.
Although Rabin has never taken part in civilian elections before, he said the decision to run came because he got tired of complaining about the government and wanted to create change.
For Rabin, saying no all the time doesn’t make progress. Instead, lawmakers need to set an objective and find creative ways to obtain it while still keeping their values.
“There’s never a straight line,” he said.
Along with the creativity, Rabin said he would bring integrity and decision making skills to the District 12 seat.
“You don’t get where I got in the Army without integrity and accepting responsibility,” he said. “I have been trained as a leader. A leader’s job is to make sound, timely decisions that minimize losses.”
Rabin said he would be a “Yes Man” to the people, not the process. With nearly 15 years of living in the Washington, D.C., area, Rabin believes he understands the political system well but still has an outsider’s view to make effective change.
If elected, Rabin plans to get to every precinct in the district to get public input on how he, and the Senate as a whole, is doing. He believes that he could vote completely contrary to his own beliefs if that is what the people want.
“It’s not a case of values,” he said. “It’s a case of different points of view.”
His top priorities for the office include cutting taxes and spending, limiting regulations on business and creating jobs.
No government can create jobs, Rabin said. Instead, it’s the businesses that will boost the economy and the job market. To help that along, Rabin wants to put a moratorium on new taxes, look for ways to cut spending and reduce current taxes and make it enticing for people to further invest in business.
And, Rabin said, he won’t have anyone pulling on his coat tails in Congress to cut deals.
“I don’t owe anybody in Raleigh anything,” he said. “I’m a clear, independent thinker with strong conservative values.”
Rabin said the District 12 race chose him. He was asked by others to run for the seat and he feels that he can really make a difference if he is elected.
In May, Rabin was the second-highest vote getter. Although Davis earned more votes, he didn’t have the necessary 40 percent to take the primary.
For more information about the runoff election or to find your precinct, go to www.harnett.org/elections.
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.