Nelson Dollar, a Republican, is running for his seventh term in the state House.
Mark Villee is challenging Dollar for the Republican nomination. Woodie Cleary and Jennifer Ferrell are seeking the Democratic nomination. Brian Irving is the sole Libertarian candidate.
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Where the candidates stand
If re-elected, Dollar vows, he’ll keep pushing for lower taxes, jobs and simpler business regulations. He says changes he has worked for in the legislature in the past five years have resulted in lower unemployment and more than 300,000 new jobs.
“I have fought the Democratic establishment and helped turn the state around, and I will continue to fight for families of the 36th District,” he said.
Dollar also says he’ll protect Second Amendment rights and improve the state’s education system.
Villee, a former 36th District party chairman, is running on a campaign to reduce the size and scope of government.
“Government is spending too much money on special interest projects it shouldn’t be involved in,” he said.
In his district, Villee said, he would like to work toward building the I-540 extension, without tolls, through prioritization of funds.
In the Democratic race, Cleary’s focus is on addressing inadequate education funding, which he said has resulted in larger classroom sizes, a reduction in teaching assistants, a lack of resources and more problems.
“We have decreased our per-person funding down to 47th (in the country), and it’s very alarming and not sustainable,” he said.
Cleary also says he wants to tackle growing inequality caused by the state’s new tax code and its failure to expand Medicaid.
The daughter of a teacher and a former Virginia county school board member, Ferrell’s top priority is education. She hopes to prevent further cuts to resources and, particularly, teaching assistants.
“Teaching resources like textbooks and desks – basics – we have a lack of,” she said. “My position is to fully fund all those resources where we can.”
Ferrell opposes recent state law changes regarding women’s health choices, including one enacted this year that requires doctors who perform an abortion after the 16th week of pregnancy to send an ultrasound image to state officials.
The only Libertarian candidate in the District 36 race, Irving is running to offer more education choices, including home schooling, charter schools, tax scholarships, vouchers and more. He also believes the Wake County Transit Plan is headed in the wrong direction.
“People want to use their private automobiles to get around,” he said. “Things like buses and the rail system are nice, but that’s not what people want to use. It doesn’t even come close to paying for itself.”
Nelson Dollar (R)
Education: B.S. and M.A. in social sciences from Appalachian State University
Professional experience: Media and public relations consultant at his firm, J.N. Dollar and Associates
Political resume: Six-term representative of N.C. House District 36; senior chairman of the N.C. House appropriations committee; vice chairman of the N.C. House finance committee; vice chairman of the N.C. House health and human services committee
Family: Wife, Lorrie, and son, Ian
Woodie Cleary (D)
Education: B.S. in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University; certified in information technology
Professional experience: Former lead cyber security expert with the N.C. Department of Revenue
Political resume: Precinct chairman and vice chairman, Wake County Democratic Party
Family: Wife, Brenda; sons, Grant (wife Kayla) and Todd (wife Kezia); five grandchildren
Jennifer Ferrell (D)
Education: B.A. in political science and public administration, Elon University
Professional experience: Former development and community outreach manager, Public Schools First NC
Political resume: Field organizer, Wake County Democratic Party; former candidate for Apex Town Council
Family: Husband, Chris, and 6-year-old twins, Emma and Trey
Education: B.A. in social science, University of the Philippines; M.A. in public administration, Webster University; M.A. in pastoral studies, Loyola University
Professional experience: Freelance writer; former public affairs officer, U.S. Air Force
Political resume: Volunteer, Libertarian Party of North Carolina; former chairman, Fayetteville Planning Commission
Family: Wife, Lisa; children, Annalisa and Daniel; six grandchildren; one great-grandson
Education: B.S. in civil engineering, Pennsylvania State University
Professional experience: Owner of Promark Home Inspections Inc.
Political resume: Former N.C. District 36 party chairman
Family: Wife and three sons