In this You Decide 2018 profile, FOX8 takes a look at the Senate race between State Senator Phil Berger and his Democratic opponent Jennifer Mangrum.
Berger is proud of the record of legislation he’s led as president pro tempore of the Senate over the last several years.
But he still sees a lot of work to do over the next four years or so.
“We want to do, from the standpoint of public policy, is continue the course that we've been on because it has proven to be a very successful recipe for reviving North Carolina's economy overall: lower taxes, a light touch as far as regulation is concerned, make sure that we're looking at the adequate funding that's needed for the schools. Making sure that our community colleges and universities are top-notch,” Berger said.
And that’s the topic on which his Mangrum hits him on most: education. Mangrum is a former teacher who is now a professor at UNC Greensboro. She says there isn’t the “light touch” or regulation in education in the state.
“Teachers want to have some say in how they teach in their classroom,” Mangrum said “Right now, a lot of the curriculum they use is scripted or is very test-oriented and teachers want to have the ability to use their professional knowledge.”
Mangrum believes that North Carolinians aren’t against a tax increase if it goes to education.
“We've cut taxes for corporations and people with high wealth and when we cut those taxes, that's money that we're losing,” Mangrum said.
There is a third candidate in this race for North Carolina’s 30th senatorial district. R. Michael Jordan is a Libertarian who wants to further personal freedom, even for choices he might not personally make.
The question always is, though … can a third party candidate win?
“I really think that we can,” Jordan said. “I don't know that I'm going to win, this time but Libertarians are the one party that actually is growing and Republicans and Democrats are decreasing. I would say that President Trump getting elected shows how tired the average person is of politicians as usual.”