State Senator Jim Davis (R-50) recently filed his bid for re-election, knowing he is facing an uphill battle against Democratic challenger John Snow (D-Murphy) this fall. In the new legislative districts drawn up by GOP state legislators, Davis lost the Republican stronghold of Transylvania County and received all of Haywood County, a county that happens to include a lot of Democratic voters. The change will undoubtedly affect his desire to serve a second term. Nevertheless, Davis formally launched his campaign at the Macon County Board of Elections last Wednesday, Feb. 15th.
When asked what his campaign would focus on, Davis responded with one word, “spending.” With so many existing problems with the state’s finances, Davis wants to continue serving in order to help North Carolina “pay our bills” and to secure the state’s fiscal solvency for the long-term.
He believes his experience in the private sector is the biggest difference between him and challenger John Snow. “I come from the private enterprise and he has worked for the government his entire life,” said Davis. “It makes a difference in how you think. He says he is a conservative Democrat, but he voted with the liberals on a lot of issues when he was in Raleigh and their past spending is why we are in this fiscal mess,” continued Davis. Snow served in Senate district 50 for three terms before losing to Sen. Davis by 161 votes in 2010.
With a $32.8 billion unfunded retiree health-care system, $2.8 billion unfunded state pension fund, and $2.6 billion worth of red ink in unemployment insurance, Davis believes fiscal conservatism is the only answer to ensure a viable future for succeeding generations. “We pay $100 million per year in interest alone on unemployment insurance we owe back to the Fed,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do and it’s going to get done,” explained Davis.
Regardless of who wins this year’s race for senate district 50, Davis thinks the Republican Party will control the legislature for the next ten years. “It doesn’t really matter if I win or not, the Republicans will be in control for the next decade,” he said. “So Democrats won’t be able to push their agenda of more taxes and more government for the foreseeable future and that’s a good thing,” stated Davis.
The Senator said being included in the conversation and serving Western North Carolina by promoting fiscal sanity are what he is most proud of since assuming office. Davis is Co-Chairman of Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology, and State and Local Government.
The Senator will be participating in a debate with Rep. Ray Rapp (D-118) and Rep. Ralph Hise (R-47) on the state’s education budget at Western Carolina University on Monday, March. 5th. “It should be a good forum and I am glad students will get to hear another side for a change so they can make up their own minds,” said Davis. Education will likely be a key issue in this year’s election, so the forum will be worth attending for citizens interested in the topic. “I’m proud to say that no Macon County teacher has lost their job in these tough times,” he said. He also thinks reforms to higher education are necessary. “I think when the chancellor of ECU makes over one million dollars, something’s not right about that,” explained Davis.
So far, no Republican challenger has stepped up to take on Davis in the May primary. “I went to Raleigh to serve. To be part of giving our state back to its citizens who pay the bills. I went to help protect our constitutionally guaranteed rights,” said Davis in a press release.