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: state Rep. Chris Malone, Republican
Occupation: case manager and insurance investigator for G4S, a security company
Family: wife Becky and three teenage children
Hobbies: loves books and poetry, military history, football, wrestling
Previous elected offices: served on Wake County school board and Wake Forest town commission
Why’d you run for office? “I thought my basic understanding of what was going on in the state would serve me better than being on the school board.”
What are the major challenges you’re anticipating in the legislature?
Tax reform, making sure state is business-friendly and brings in jobs.
What is one specific issue that you think needs addressing?
Lots of important issues need to be addressed. “We have to find ways to better the lives of people in North Carolina, and offer them opportunities to live the American dream.”
How do you feel about the following issues?
- Voter ID? In favor, very important. Malone suffers from epilepsy and didn’t drive until he was 35. Said he knows challenges to get identification when you don’t drive, but said he was always able to find friends and others to help and he never saw it as a barrier to getting state-issued picture identification. “I utilized my network, and friends, and I wasn’t making a lot of money to get the ID that somebody can get.”
- Medicaid expansion? Undecided. “I look at Obamacare as something that is very well meant and has got a lot of heart but it’s going to create a two-tier system….. I don’t want people to be left high and dry.”
- North Carolina’s public schools: “We’re spending tons of money. We need to find better ways to invest in our schools and add to our investments.” The state also needs to look at mandates and providing more flexibility for families. As for vouchers for students to attend private schools, Malone says, “ “I haven’t heard anyone suggest it and until I do, I’m not going to move in a particular direction”
- Immigration: State legislature doesn’t need to get involved. “We have a lot of more on our right now.”
- Getting rid of or cutting corporate and personal income taxes?
“ Our taxes are too high and our regulations are too great. I’m not one of those people that doesn’t believe in taxes, we need revenue. But I think we can do better.”
What historical or other figures have influenced your politics?
Presidents Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington
How do you describe your politics?
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:
His favorite book is “Education of a Wandering Man” by Louis L’Amore, about how the author spent a life finding unusual work and learning from it.