The Republican takeover of the N.C. legislature, the first time the GOP has led both houses since 1898, is a huge shift in power that’s brought a lot of new faces, and people new to doing business on Jones Street. In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will try to talk with some of the newest members to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. This will be an ongoing feature, with the goal of profiling all the new members. Haven’t been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at [email protected].
Name: Rep. Harry Warren (Republican)
Hometown: Salisbury (represents Rowan County)
Family: Wife Elizabeth Catherine (senior executive VP at Bank of America, works in global treasury); two daughters, Alexandra, 13, and Morgan, 11.
Occupation: Human resource specialist. Up until the start of the session, worked for Tarheel Capital Corporation (largest franchise owner of Wendy’s in the Carolinas)
Previous political experience: No.
Organizations (charities, churches, civic groups) you’re active in: member of the First United Methodist Church in Salisbury, volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Rowan Helping Ministries.
Biggest political influences: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Hobbies: “My work has always kept me so busy and on the road, I never really had time for hobbies.” Enjoys traveling and spending time with families and his dogs.
Any pet peeves?: “When it comes to politics, the animosity between the major parties, the unbridled passion, I wish we could do away with that and talk about our philosophical differences. Ultimately, I think we have the same goals but just have different philosophies of how to attain them. The partisanship drives me nuts.”
Why’d you run?: “Given the direction that the state and the country seemed to be going, this year I didn’t feel like voting for a candidate would be enough. I didn’t feel like I could expect anyone else to represent my convictions to my satisfaction. I can honestly look myself in the mirror, or my children, and I say I did everything I could to make a difference.”
What are you expecting from this session? “I’m expecting this session to help reduce, not only the physical size of government and the reach into our daily lives but also the cost. I expect we’ll be coming out of here with a balanced budget and hopefully we can do it while reducing the spending and the government without getting into too deep cuts in any particular area.”
If you had only one victory this session, what would it be? “I guess I’d like to see us balance the budget without impacting critical services like education and health care too dramatically. But if it’s a wish, I wish we could balance the budget without touching them at all.”
What (policy-wise) keeps you up worrying at night? “Frankly nothing. I believe we go in there every day and make the best decisions you can and pray for guidance from God and then get a good night’s sleep and then wake up and do it again the next day.”
Contact: 533 Legislative Office Building, (919) 733-5784, [email protected]