This contest is between the Republican incumbent, Emerald Isle resident Pat McElraft, and challenger Jim Nolan, a Democrat, for who will represent Carteret and Jones counties in the next two sessions of the NC General Assembly.

Nolan is a retired high school history and social studies teacher who, according to his campaign website, thinks that wealth inequality is a big problem in North Carolina.  He is running on a platform of opposition to the teacher pay reforms enacted by the General Assembly this summer, and he promises to work for the restoration of teacher tenure.  He opposes charter schools and favors passage of a law to guarantee a “living wage” to all workers.  He believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW, or Climate Change), the predictions of catastrophic sea level rise, and the wisdom of re-enacting permanent taxpayer-funded monetary incentives to the film and entertainment industry.  He is adamantly against fracking, but is for the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid.  In summary, he is your typical left-wing liberal, claiming to be for fiscal restraint but favoring a slate of tax-&-spend initiatives.  To visit his campaign website and see for yourself, click HERE.

Pat McElraft was elected to her seat in the NC House of Representatives in 2006, and it is a testament to her performance in that office that she has been re-elected to it three times already.  In the recently concluded session, she served, according to the account at Project Vote Smart, as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Environment Committee, Vice-Chair of the Insurance Committee, and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Natural and Economic Resources.  In addition, she was a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Information Technology.  For those interested in more on Representative McElraft’s political biography, her Vote-NC page is HERE, and her Vote-Smart page is HERE.

On a more personal note, regular readers may recall that, in early July, I put up THIS POST that was critical of Representative McElraft in connection with her votes on SB-594, which contained provisions making the penalties more severe for carrying a firearm into a space, public or private, in which they are prohibited.  That post was in response to an alert put out at 6:30pm the previous evening by the gun-rights support group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC).  The two opening paragraphs of that alert read as follows:

In one fell swoop, the Republicans in the NC House have betrayed the gun owners of this state.  Senate Bill 594, “Omnibus Justice Amendments” contains a provision that would increase the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon from a Class 2 misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class I felony on the second and subsequent offense to a Class A1 misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class H felony on the second and subsequent offense.

That is fancy gobbledygook for: Accidentally carry your legally concealed weapon into a prohibited place and BECOME A FELON!  So, yes, if your grandmother is carrying the handgun you gave her for her protection – as any responsible grandchild would – under the provisions of the CCW license you sponsored her through (you are a really good grandchild) and wanders onto forbidden ground, some serious heat is coming down on her.

Representative McElraft did indeed vote for the bill, but it turned out that, in their haste to get out a warning to 2nd amendment supporters, GRNC mistakenly characterized the bill as being applicable to Concealed Carry Licensees (CCLs), when in fact it was not.  The bill was targeted at unlicensed carriers, and was intended as a measure to help law enforcement deal with juvenile gang members who were bringing pistols onto school property.

So, this is my mea culpa, my apology to Representative McElraft for also acting in haste, and for being too willing to believe that she might have backed away from her well-documented and long-standing committment to 2nd amendment rights.

Lastly, I will note that Representative McElraft has appeared before the attending members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots on a number of occasions over the last several years, subjecting herself to the inquiries of the members as to her actions and policy views, and has comported herself well on those occasions.  She is held in high regard by our members, including me, and is generally considered to be a significant asset to the Crystal Coast representation.  She therefore deserves to be re-elected to her office.