Name: Brandon Lofton
Political party: Democrat
Age as of Nov. 8, 2022: 44
Campaign website: www.loftonfornc.com
Education: I graduated with highest honors from UNC-Chapel Hill and I earned my J.D. from New York University School of Law where I was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and a Dean’s Scholar.
Have you run for elected office before? I first ran for this seat in 2018 and won reelection in 2020. I have not run for any other elected office.
Please list highlights of your civic involvement: Prior to serving in the General Assembly, I chaired the board for the Council for Children’s Rights, served on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Advisory Board, served on the Levine Museum of the New South’s board, chaired the city of Charlotte’s Disparity Study Advisory Committee and coached the chess team at my kids’ elementary school. I have received the NC Bar Association Citizen Lawyer Award and the Charlotte Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award.
What are the three issues that you see as most important to your district and what will you do to address them?
The economy, schools and voting rights are critical issues facing our state. I am working to help North Carolinians meet rising costs by sponsoring legislation to reinstate the Child Tax Credit, increase childcare subsidies and help create jobs. I am working to strengthen our public schools by sponsoring legislation to attract and keep the best teachers, as well as nurses, counselors and psychologists. I am working to protect voting rights by cosponsoring legislation to end gerrymandering.
At a time when costs are rising, state government has a surplus. How should it be used?
We began this fiscal year with a $6.5 billion surplus. At the same time, North Carolinians are facing inflation and staffing shortages. We provided some relief in the budget, but we must do better. I sponsored legislation to reinstate the Child Tax Credit and increase childcare subsidies to help North Carolinians keep more money in their pockets. I sponsored the North Carolina Working Families Act to provide raises for our teachers, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals.
Will you vote for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina?
What has the legislature gotten right, and what has it gotten wrong, about public education in North Carolina?
During the height of COVID-19, the legislature came together to provide greater funding and flexibility for schools. Unfortunately, this effort did not continue. We are failing to fully fund our schools, districts are grappling with staffing shortages and our per-pupil spending is one of the lowest in the nation. I sponsored legislation to provide raises for teachers and fund additional counselors, nurses and psychologists. Our children deserve better.
Should North Carolina change its abortion laws? How?
There should be fewer restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks.
Please add anything else voters should know about your position on the legality or availability of abortion in North Carolina.
I support reinstating the protections provided under Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a complex and emotional issue, but for me the policy issues faced by our state legislature boil down to one key question: do we trust North Carolinians to make their own private, personal health care decisions? I do, and I believe our laws should respect private decisions between patients and doctors. The North Carolina General Assembly should not pursue any additional restrictions on access to abortion.
Should medical marijuana be legalized in North Carolina?
What, if anything, should the legislature do to shape curriculum dealing with topics of race, sexuality and gender?
As a parent, I know the importance of good partnerships among parents, educators and policy makers. Legislators should collaborate with parents and teachers in shaping curriculum. However, this collaboration must be grounded in an acknowledgment of the professional judgment of our teachers. We must reject efforts to politicize our classrooms. I will continue to speak out against legislation that hurts our children, vilifies our teachers and promotes false narratives about our history.
Do you accept the results of the 2020 presidential election?