Name: Joe John
Political party: Democrat
Age as of Nov. 8, 2022: 83
Campaign website: JoeJohnNCHouse.com
Occupation: Legislator, NC House of Representatives
Education: BA, MA and JD from UNC-Chapel Hill
Have you run for elected office before? Yes: District Attorney, District Court Judge, Superior Court Judge (all 18th Judicial District); NC Court of Appeals; NC Supreme Court; NC House of Representatives
Please list highlights of your civic involvement: As the only NC legislator who served in all three branches of government, I have also participated in numerous professional and civic organizations. These include the NC and Wake County Bar Associations, the Leesville Road HS Pride Athletic Association, Family and Children’s Services of Greater Greensboro, the NC Forensic Science Advisory Board, the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. I also enjoyed years as a youth baseball coach and am a proud member of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
What are the three issues that you see as most important to your district and what will you do to address them?
1) Protect our democracy: end gerrymandering by an independent commission for legislative districts; maintain an independent judiciary, including non-partisan judicial elections, which exerts constitutional checks and balances on the other branches and provides fair and equal justice to all.
2) Eliminate the health insurance coverage gap by expanding Medicaid without coverage barriers.
3) Resolve state education system N.C. constitutional deficiencies, primarily by targeted appropriations.
At a time when costs are rising, state government has a surplus. How should it be used?
I strongly support a viable “rainy day” fund against emergencies. Many possible uses for remaining sums include fully funding our schools. Prioritization is difficult. High-quality and well-prepared teachers and principals, a comprehensive early childhood program plus after-school programs and adequate SISP personnel must be provided. Also, our schools’ infrastructure needs are woefully underfunded. Finally, broadband internet access across N.C. is a critical need, especially for schools.
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?
For a decade, the NCGA has seemed determined to “starve” public education. Token recent appropriations ignored testimony to a special school safety committee on nationally recommended numbers of school counselors, nurses and social workers. Teacher pay has only begrudgingly inched upward and advanced degree and certification pay as well as new hire retirement medical benefits have been eliminated. But, 2021-22 bills, which I supported, acknowledged the parental role in the education process.
Should North Carolina change its abortion laws? How?
There should be no restrictions on abortion.
Please add anything else voters should know about your position on the legality or availability of abortion in North Carolina.
Roe v. Wade represented the settled law on abortion for 50 years. An abortion decision is extremely private and should be made only by a woman in consultation with her health care provider and others she deems appropriate. There is no place for government intrusion in that process. I will oppose any forthcoming effort to limit current abortion access in North Carolina.
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?
I do not view this as an area into which the General Assembly should intrude. Decisions around curriculum should made by teachers, local school leaders, parents and education experts — not politicians in the legislature.
Do you accept the results of the 2020 presidential election?