N.C. House, District 9
Brian Farkas vs. Perrin Jones
Current Job: Director of Development at JKF Architecture
Education: Master’s in Public Administration (UNC Chapel Hill), Bachelor of Arts (UNC Charlotte), J.H. Rose High
What will your top priority be if you are elected or re-elected?
My top priority is building strong public schools. I was raised in NC public schools – elementary through my master’s degree. Unfortunately, our students no longer have the support they need to succeed. Our schools have classrooms with pipes leaking through the ceiling, overflowing class sizes, and underpaid teachers. This is the sad result of politicians in Raleigh who have been hacking away at our public education funding for years. This year our politicians even bragged about raising teacher pay but only gave educators a one-time bonus of less than $1/day. I will fight to lock up the Education Lottery funding so it goes to our schools, not politicians’ pet projects. I will advocate for raising teacher pay and bringing back the Teaching Fellows Program. I will also work on improving distance learning to help us all through this pandemic and making college affordable for all. I'm proud to be endorsed by the North Carolina Association of Educators.
How will you involve your constituents in the process of making decisions?
In my office, constituents will take priority, not lobbyists and wealthy donors. To ensure this is true for offices beyond my own, I will advocate to stop the revolving door of politicians turned lobbyists and reform our broken campaign finance system that lets the highest bidder get heard over the voices of our community. I also won't expect constituents to make the trek to Raleigh to be heard -- I will be available in the community and host regular town halls as I always have.
Why should voters choose you for the position you are running for?
I grew up right here in Pitt County, in a household of Independents, and now I help lead my family's small architecture business. I've seen first-hand how the partisan games in Raleigh have impacted Eastern NC. Our schools are falling apart, rural hospitals are laying off staff, and too many in our community are being left behind. I am “all in” when it comes to giving back to the community I grew up in, and believe we need new leadership to bring people together to fix problems. While I'm a small businessman now, I previously specialized in emergency management for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and worked for the U.S. Attorney’s office. I will stand up to extremism and fight for better schools, access to affordable healthcare, and an economy that works for everyone. I will leave politics at the door to make sure government works for my hometown.
What three things about you do you most want voters to know?
1) I believe in health care that doesn’t break the bank. I will advocate for a healthcare system where everyone can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick, get prescriptions for a reasonable price, and have their pre-existing conditions covered. I will fight for funding for a new Brody School of Medicine facility as well as Medicaid Expansion, which will cover 13,000 more Pitt County residents and create 500 new local jobs.
2) I believe in an economy that works for everyone. I will work to increase local job opportunities by finishing the I-587 spur and expanding rural broadband. I support grant/loan assistance for small businesses hurt by the pandemic, raising the minimum, and paid family leave.
3) I strongly believe in standing up for our environment and clean energy opportunities -- from the mountains to the coast. We need to tackle climate change head-on, transition to a clean energy economy, and protect our communities from the rapidly increasing impacts of hurricanes and floods. I'm proud to be endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club.
Is there anything else you wish to say?
I'm excited to be running to advocate for my hometown, and deeply believe that to represent a community you need to be a part of it. I have served as president of the Greenville Museum of Art, on the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Issues Committee, and as a Governor's Appointee to the NC State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission, as well as on other local non-profit and government boards. I'm proud to be endorsed by former NC Governor Jim Hunt and former President Barack Obama. My campaign is also supported by the NC Association of Nurse Anesthetists, NC Nurse Practitioner PAC, NC Association of Educators, NC State AFL-CIO, State Employees Association of NC, End Citizen's United, Human Rights Campaign, Equality NC, Moms Demand Action, Work for Democracy, Now or Never NC, National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters. Learn more about my campaign: BrianFarkas.com
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