N.C. Policy Watch is continuing to talk with some of the newest members of the N.C. General Assembly 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.
Name: state Rep. Nathan Baskerville 
Occupation: attorney, has own practice  and does variety of cases. Calls himself a “country lawyer.”
Lives in: Henderson (Vance County)
From: Vance County
Hobbies: Enjoys following sports, including college basketball (UNC fan), professional football, and playing golf. Also reads when he has time.
Previous elected offices, if any: No
Why’d you run for office? “I’m a lawyer, my dad’s a judge (district court level) ,so I’ve been brought up, understanding the law, I’ve practiced the law and I’ve always wanted an opportunity to write the law. I want to write laws in a way that makes sense and is fair to all communities.”
What are the major challenges this year? We’ve seen several already come down the pipeline, in terms of the earned income tax credit, unemployment insurance and Medicaid expansion. Those are major issues that I felt as though the General Assembly and the governor went in the wrong direction. Those are major issues because they impact everyone. With earned income (EITC) — that’s not a welfare program, it’s for working people. The unemployment insurance, those are people that were working and got laid off due to no fault of their own.”
Tax reform is also coming, and he’s concerned that middle and low-income families won’t be treated fairly.
What is one specific issue that you’ think needs addressing?
Tax reform, proper funding of our public school system, and incentives for small business job creators. “We have not created a single job in two months. That’s what folks elected us to do. With the Medicaid expansion, that was 23,000 jobs we turned down.”
How do you feel about these issues?
- Voter ID? Not in favor.
- Medicaid expansion? He wanted to expand Medicaid.
- North Carolina’s public schools’ funding? “We need to fund the governor’s digital learning initiation, we do need to fund teachers’ assistants in classrooms and funding for early education funding.” The 5,000 additional pre-K slots Gov. Pat McCrory put in his budget proposal are not enough, according to Baskerville.
What historical or other figures have influenced your politics?
President Barack Obama and former Gov. Jim Hunt
How do you describe your politics? “A common sense person – I hate labels. I’m a reasonable Democrat.”
What’s something about you most people don’t know:
“I talk all the time so people pretty much know the deal. I did catch the acting bug for a while in high school and was in several productions.”
Contact information: Raleigh office, (919) 733-5824 or [email protected]