Democrats Christy Clark and Branden Rosenlieb are seeking a spot on the November ballot in the North Carolina House District 98 race. Clark, from Huntersville, and Rosenlieb, from Cornelius, are squaring off in the May 8 primary to see who will face Republican John Bradford of Cornelius in November.

Each candidate who will appear on the primary ballot had the opportunity to answer a few questions in their own words that have not been edited. Here’s what they had to say:

Christy Clark

Age: 46

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in English from Roanoke College and Paralegal Certificate from Duke University.

Employment: Paralegal at The Law Office of Chris Clark, PLLC

Political Experience: I have worked for the past five years as a volunteer and North Carolina Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action. During that time, I have worked closely with legislatures on both sides of the aisle and legislation advocating for common sense gun laws. I have also worked with citizens who may not understand the need for gun law reform and have learned how education and advocacy can make a difference and change minds.

Other community involvement: I served for three years on the Executive Board of my Homeowners Association. I have been an active member of Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County for four years. I am also active in the North Mecklenburg Democrats and have served as a Precinct 142 Delegate for three years.

 

Herald-Citizen: Why did you choose to run for N.C. House?

Christy Clark: I’m running for office because I care about North Carolina and her citizens. Since 2010, the legislature has had misplaced priorities. They’ve been more interested in rigging the system to get themselves re-elected and pushing their agendas than on helping teachers, small businesses and the working families of North Carolina.

 

HC: What sets you apart from other candidates?

CC: As a lifelong Democrat, I have been fighting for progressive causes. I have the understanding of what it takes to move our agenda forward in North Carolina.  My network of contacts extends throughout the state after having worked alongside other volunteers fighting for gun law reform. I have also met directly with General Assembly members to discuss gun reform and have experience working with both sides of the aisle.

 

HC: What best qualifies you for this position?

CC: My career as a North Carolina Certified Paralegal has honed my skills as a drafter and analyzer of legal documentation and contracts which is a skill that will serve me well in the General Assembly. Also, my experience as a volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action has allowed me to have a strong understanding of the processes in the General Assembly. As a calm and diplomatic leader, I will be dedicated to public service and to helping our community.

 

HC: What would be your highest priorities as the representative for N.C. House District 98?

CC: There is so much to take on in Raleigh. I'm concerned that North Carolina schools are ranked 40th in the nation due to lack of funding. We should be helping our schools hire highly qualified teachers. It’s time to restore our education funding to sufficient levels. I also want to improve citizen’s access to health care. By expanding access to Medicaid, our citizens will have access to preventative medicine. Lastly, I will continue to work for common sense gun laws.  By closing the background check loophole on all guns sales, we can make our citizens safer from gun violence.

Branden Rosenlieb

Age: 22

Education: UNC Charlotte: BS Computer Science (2016), MS Information Technology (2017)

Employment: IT developer

Political Experience:

This is my first time running for office.

Other community involvement:

Member of the Information Services and Technology Advisory Committee for Mecklenburg County

 

HC: Why did you choose to run for N.C. House?

Branden Rosenlieb: I chose to run for office because I felt like my voice as a citizen wasn't being heard by our politicians.  I hope to be a voice for others that feel the same way!

 

HC: What sets you apart from other candidates?

BR: Moderation.  A lot of politicians and candidates take hard-and-fast views on all issues which sounds good on paper but also is what leads to the extremely divisive landscape we see today regarding political and social issues.  I aim to search for the middle ground with others and believe that some progress on issues is better than no progress.

 

HC: What best qualifies you for this position?

BR: Young people as a whole need to be getting into politics.  Everyone's opinions count equally and it's the younger generations in particular that will most feel the impacts 10 and 20 years from now of decisions that are being made today.  Having more diversity in our political offices will only help to represent everyone more equally.

 

HC: What would be your highest priorities as the representative for N.C. House District 98?

BR: Equality, our environment, affordable housing, and education are among top priorities for me.

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