GOP State House District #63 Primary Questionnaire

1. In general, do you believe North Carolina’s taxes are too high, too low, or about right?

Peter Boykin: Too High

Ed Priola: Too High

Stephen Ross: Too High

2. Please specify which of the following, if any, should be raised or lowered.

State income tax rates:

Peter Boykin: Lowered

Ed Priola: Lowered

Stephen Ross: Lowered

State sales tax rates:

Peter Boykin: Lowered

Ed Priola: Lowered

Stephen Ross: Lowered

State corporate tax rates:

Peter Boykin: Lowered

Ed Priola: Lowered

Stephen Ross: Lowered

3. Is North Carolina spending too much, too little, or about right on education?

Peter Boykin: About right

Ed Priola: Too Little

Stephen Ross: About Right

4. What can be done to improve the quality of North Carolina’s public schools? (25 word limit)

Peter Boykin: Lesson plans should be given in advance to parents, and I would like to see cameras in the classrooms [so] parents can be more involved.

Ed Priola: Implement a “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” enforce comprehensive curriculum transparency, and finance educational alternatives to failing public schools (e.g., charter schools, home schooling).

Stephen Ross: North Carolina education needs more accountability for schools and school districts, more parental choice and involvement, and more educational options for students.

5. What is your view of charter schools? (25 word limit)

Peter Boykin: Families should be able to choose the school environment that’s right for them. I support homeschooling, charter schools, and private schools as an alternative.

Ed Priola: Charter schools are very good alternatives to failing public schools. Taxpayer funds for education should follow the student.

Stephen Ross: Charter schools are an important and growing segment of North Carolina’s public school options. They are wonderful option for students and give parents more choice.

6. Should North Carolina’s minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, be raised?  

Peter Boykin: Yes

Ed Priola: No. Wages should be determined by the market

Stephen Ross: Federal minimum likely increase next year. NC’s minimum wage would remain the same as the federal minimum wage.

If so, by how much?

Peter Boykin: $12.00

Ed Priola: 

Stephen Ross: 

7. Do you support or oppose providing tax-funded incentives for businesses to locate or expand in North Carolina?

Peter Boykin: Support

Ed Priola: Support.

Stephen Ross: Support

If support, please outline the principles that would govern your decision on which companies should receive tax-financed incentives and under what circumstances. (50 word limit)

Peter Boykin: I believe our state should provide incentives to companies that put an equal involvement into the community. I also feel we must not neglect the existing companies already in our state. These companies should benefit our citizens.

Ed Priola: Incentives must be reasonably uniform. Government should not pick winners and losers. Big corporations should not benefit disproportionately relative to small businesses and family farms.

Stephen Ross: Companies should only receive incentives if they meet specific metrics for new jobs created. If they don’t, the money should be clawed back. If we continue broad-based tax and regulatory reform, targeted incentives will become less and less important. That’s the direction we need to continue going in.

8. Please outline your views on what, if any, restrictions on handgun ownership and use, you would favor at the state level? (50 word limit)

Peter Boykin: As for restrictions, our Constitution said shall not be infringed. You only lose these rights when you disrespect the laws of this land, you can regain your rights immediately after you served your punishment.

Ed Priola: I believe that law-abiding citizens are entitled to “keep and bear arms.” This is a right that “shall not be infringed.”

Stephen Ross: North Carolina’s current gun laws are sufficient. I oppose new laws that restrict lawful gun ownership.

9. In particular, would you support or oppose a ban on assault-style weapons?

Peter Boykin: Oppose

Ed Priola: Oppose

Stephen Ross: Oppose

10. Would you support or oppose raising the minimum age for gun purchases in North Carolina?

Peter Boykin: Oppose

Ed Priola: Oppose

Stephen Ross: Oppose

11. North Carolina has long been a “right-to-work” state in which private sector employees are not required to join a union as a condition of their employment. Do you support or oppose maintaining the “right-to-work” status.

Peter Boykin: Support

Ed Priola: Support

Stephen Ross: Support

12. Over the past decade, the General Assembly moved toward having judicial races revert to partisan status, reversing a trend in which they had become mostly nonpartisan races. Which do you support: Nonpartisan or partisan judicial races?

Peter Boykin: Partisan. (Although I believe all judges should be nonpartisan in their decisions)

Ed Priola: Nonpartisan

Stephen Ross: Partisan

13. More fundamentally, do you support North Carolina’s current system of an elected judiciary, or would you prefer an appointed system?

Peter Boykin: Elected

Ed Priola: Elected

Stephen Ross: Elected

14. Which, if any, of the following federal holidays do you think North Carolina should also adopt as a paid holiday for state workers?

a. Washington’s Birthday
b. Juneteenth
c. Columbus Day

Peter Boykin: Washington’s Birthday. (Although I think we have enough paid holidays)

Ed Priola: 

Stephen Ross: 

15. Some states have moved toward legalizing marijuana — some for medical purposes, others for small quantities for personal use. Please explain your position on whether North Carolina should legalize marijuana. [25 word limit]

Peter Boykin: First, I don’t use, but I support the legalization and regulation and taxation of marijuana. We should follow similar laws Virginia just adopted.

Ed Priola: I support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Stephen Ross: I oppose marijuana legalization. Medical use is more complicated than recreational, but I have yet to see how that could work in North Carolina.

16. In 2015, the General Assembly enacted legislation intended to protect historical monuments – any “object of remembrance” in the parlance of the legislative language – on public property and prohibit their removal. Some legislators and the Governor have sought to change that statute in order to remove certain Confederate-related monuments. Would you support or oppose legislation to allow the removal of Confederate statues?

Peter Boykin: Oppose.

Ed Priola: Oppose

Stephen Ross: Oppose

17. Specifically, what is your view on the Confederate statute on the north side of the Court House in Graham. Would you support or oppose its removal?

Peter Boykin: Oppose. (but leave it up to voters and if removed moved to a museum or a place it still can be seen for historical purposes so we learn from our past)

Ed Priola: Oppose

Stephen Ross: Oppose

18. Do you believe that the current legislative district in which you’re running is fairly drawn?

Peter Boykin: Yes

Ed Priola: No

Stephen Ross: Yes

If not, in what way(s) should it be changed? [25 word limit]

Peter Boykin:

Ed Priola: More voter input should be incorporated in the process of redistricting, both before and after new district boundaries are proposed.

Stephen Ross: 

19. Do you support or oppose legislation extending anti-discrimination protection to homosexuals?

Peter Boykin: Support. All people deserve to be protected under the Constitution.

Ed Priola: Question is ambiguous. I would need context of legislation before answering. What does “anti-discrimination protection” include?

Stephen Ross: Oppose

20. In general, do you consider abortion to be a Constitutionally- protected right?

Peter Boykin: No

Ed Priola: No

Stephen Ross: No response

21. Do you support or oppose legislation in North Carolina to ban “partial birth abortions”? Why or why not? [25 word limit]

Peter Boykin: Support. I support policies that respect the dignity of all human life. From the unborn to natural death, we must protect life.

Ed Priola: Support. Absolutely. I believe in the sanctity of life.

Stephen Ross: Support. Partial birth abortion is abhorrent and it should be banned in any civilized society

22. Please explain under what conditions, if any, N.C. tax dollars should be made available to fund abortions? (25 word limit)

Peter Boykin: Never. We must work towards the extreme reduction of abortion and work towards the elimination of abortion.

Ed Priola: Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortions.

Stephen Ross: Under no conditions should NC tax dollars go to funding abortions. Period.

23. In the event that the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe vs. Wade, what should North Carolina law be on whether/under what circumstances abortion should be allowed/prohibited?

Peter Boykin: Abortion should be a rare procedure done only in a hospital environment. (with set rules or exceptions in case of rape, incest, or possible death of the mother)

Ed Priola: I believe in the sanctity of life. Abortions should occur very early, if at all. Afterwards, the only exception should be to save the life of the mother.

Stephen Ross: North Carolina’s late-term abortion ban should be invalid if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. That would be a great development. All late-term abortions should be prohibited. There should be reasonable abortion exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.

24. What single issue do you think is most critical for the state to address? (25 word limit)

Peter Boykin: Ensure government, people treat each other with equality and all are given the ability to have life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, all lives matter.

Ed Priola: Rampant crime must be addressed. It hurts communities and drives away investment and potential employers from North Carolina.

Stephen Ross: Lowering the tax burden on the public so that people can better cope with inflation under President Biden.

25. What action(s) do you think would do the most to improve the economy in North Carolina? (25 word limit)

Peter Boykin: Companies shouldn’t be allowed to sell out people for profit. Businesses should be as loyal to workforce as they expect workers to be to them.

Ed Priola: The education system needs to become far more transparent and directed toward building a competitive workforce. Parents need to be engaged at all levels.

Stephen Ross: (Same as previous question) Lowering the tax burden on the public so that people can better cope with inflation under President Biden.

26. Give your campaign’s three main issues. (50 word limit)

Peter Boykin: 1. Election Integrity.
2. School choice, ending CRT and other dangerous teachings in schools.
3. Protecting our Constitution – We must do everything we can to preserve the rights granted to us in our founding documents. I believe we should put America First and that means putting “Americans First.”

Ed Priola: 1. Impose term limits on all elected officials, including state legislators.
2. Pass a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” that asserts the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children.
3. Defend the Second Amendment, including “constitutional carry.”

Stephen Ross: The three main issues in my campaign are reducing the tax and regulatory burden on people and small businesses, expanding parental school choice, and fighting government overreach into our lives.