Bid to represent new House district

N.C. House District 79 Democratic candidates were sent the following questions by GateHouse Media in advance of the May 8 primary election. Bryson Jones is running for the seat to represent parts of Craven and Beaufort counties. 

Political Party: Democrat

Seeking: North Carolina House District 79

Incumbent: None

Best way for voters to contact you:

-       Voters can reach me on Facebook or Twitter @JonesNCHouse or through my website at www.brysonjonesnc.com.

Why are you running?

-       I am running because I care. I want to make a real difference for the people in our community. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors over the last couple of months, and people keep telling me they are concerned about the same three things -- healthcare, education and jobs. When I am elected I will work tirelessly to expand Medicaid in our state, fund education as a priority, and fight to increase minimum wage for the everyday working person.

What experience do you have that makes you a good fit for this office?

-       I am a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. My role as a Gunnery Sergeant was to keep things moving forward with an ultimate goal of mission accomplishment. I will bring this same level of duty, focus and commitment as a state legislator for our community to experience measurable growth and change. I have vast experience in managing large groups of people, negotiating multi-million-dollar contracts, overseeing substantial equipment inventories, executing substantial budgets and working with international partners. I will serve District 79 with the same warrior-like mentality I had while serving our country as a Marine.

If elected, what would you do to stay transparent as an elected official?

-       I am running on the motto of “Putting People First.” When I am elected, I will keep this promise by disclosing the maximum amount of information with minimal delay. I plan to hold quarterly town halls, send out monthly newsletters explaining my decisions and voting record, and remain available to connect with constituents through meetings, e-mail, social media and my website.

What would you do on the state level to address mental health and substance abuse treatment options in the district?

-       Mental health and substance abuse issues should be a top priority in 2019. This is a two-pronged issue split between access to health services and insurance, and reforming our state prison and judicial systems. I feel passionately about expanding Medicaid in our state, and this issue is an example why. Many addicts don’t have health insurance or cannot afford mental health and addiction treatments. Our legislators should work toward initiatives to bring additional health services to rural communities like district 79. The majority of this district has to drive more than 30 minutes to receive care. Also, we can’t arrest away substance abuse and mental health issues. As a member of the General Assembly, I will work on legislation to reform how we sentence addicts to ensure they receive the help they need and the tools to re-enter society with dignity and opportunity.

If elected, what would be your first order of business?

-       One of my first orders of business in the General Assembly will be to gain support and momentum to expand Medicaid in our state. We have family, friends and neighbors who are unable to see a doctor or afford quality healthcare. Members of our community are dying, and this is not acceptable. We must treat healthcare as a basic and fundamental human right. Because North Carolina hasn’t expanded Medicaid, we have rejected $4.9 million per day since January 2014 that could provide coverage to an additional 500,058 people.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

-       Our area is ripe for change and expansion. I believe we will see transformation and prosperity in our communities if we elect officials who will focus on putting people first. In addition to being passionate about healthcare, education and jobs, I believe it is critical we build broadband infrastructure throughout our district, protect our coasts, and treat all people with equality and respect. My campaign is endorsed by Run For Something and the North Carolina State AFL-CIO. I am truly grateful for their support on my journey to Raleigh. I am motivated and dedicated to serving the people of Eastern North Carolina