29 Jan Interview: NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest
NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest recently announced an exploratory committee for the GOP nomination for the Governor’s office. One of the major themes in that video was the polarization we’re seeing in North Carolina and across the nation.
What led to the decision to include this theme as part of the video and announcement?
“As I travel around it’s a constant theme. People are really tired of this…they’re tired of the political instability. Instability in general. Hatred on social media. Families splitting apart and friends splitting apart over some political idea or decision. That’s certainly a great challenge for our nation. I think that while the majority of people don’t like it, they don’t know what to do. I think that leadership goes a long way to bring people together. You can either have leadership that runs along the lines of identity politics and dividing people for political gain. Or you can have leadership that tries to pull people together, bring them around the table, try to come up with some common solutions that may solve a problem or at least sit down and listen to one another. To try to talk about the ideas that will bring America back together,” Lt. Governor Forest shared.
Something that Lt. Governor Dan Forest has worked on a lot is an emphasis on school choice and bringing technology and high speed internet to schools across the state. The Lt. Governor gives Donna King an update on his progress:
“On the school choice front it’s giving parents options for their students. There is no one size fits all education approach for a group of kids. Every child is different and learns differently. They need different tools and sometimes they need different schools. There are a lot of children across the state that don’t have any options, a lot of parents that don’t have any options for their children. School choice provides different options. It’s not saying that is necessarily better than the other, but it’s different. Parents should have the ability and right to choose. That’s what we’ve been doing with School Choice. We’ve been broadening those choices for parents. Including things like opportunity scholarships. Where the poorest of the poor students, if they don’t have and option from their traditional public school and is failing. The parents of that student have the option to take money from the state and invest in their kid. We’ve seen great success with that program.”
“We’re the first state in the nation to have every single classroom in North Carolina connected to highspeed broadband. That’s a basic tool for education today. We know there are pluses and minuses to technology. Too much screen time is bad for kids. We need to make sure we’re balancing how much kids are learning on the computer vs outside of the computer, but we need to have that basic technology.”
Now million-dollar question, why does Lt. Governor Dan Forest want to run for Governor?
“For me, I think that North Carolina needs a long-term vision for the state and big goals we can rally behind. Goals that are bigger than ourselves that we can gather around and try to achieve. That we can work together as one group in our state to try and achieve those goals.”
“I want to be Governor because I think we’ve done a great job on the fiscal policy kind of things. Over the last eight years we’ve been continuing to make government more efficient, drive down taxes, put more money in the people’s pockets. By doing that you’re also seeing more money going into the government coffers. We’ve cut personal income tax and personal income tax revenue for the state went up. We’ve been able to invest in the things we need to invest in like education. We’re spending billions of dollars more on education than or predecessors did. Raising teacher pay for the first time in years. Doing that for six years in row. Putting money in the rainy-day fund, and we’ve had big rainy days. These are just good fiscally responsible things. I tell people there are no such things as government funds or government money. It all has to come out of your pocket first. We want to make sure that if we’re spending your money, we’re doing it in a wise and efficient way that you would all be proud of.”