Election Guide: U.S. House
In North Carolina’s fifth district, the race for U.S. House of Representatives places incumbent Republican Virginia Foxx against Democratic opponent Elisabeth Motsinger.
Foxx, a Banner Elk resident, was first elected to Congress in 2004 and previously spent 10 years in the North Carolina Senate. She taught at Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University before holding several administrative positions at ASU. She and her husband, Tom Foxx, previously owned and ran a nursery in Banner Elk. Foxx has one daughter.
Motsinger, a Walkertown resident, is a physician assistant and has since 2006 been a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in bioethics at Wake Forest University. Motsinger’s and her husband, John Motsinger Sr., have three children.
The race has been one of tremendous financial disparity for the candidates. Foxx’s campaign reported Oct. 17 that she had $919,209 in receipts, $660,132 in disbursements and $1,463,515 cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Motsinger’s campaign reported $121,471 in receipts, $94,876 in disbursements and $26,595 cash on hand, according to the FEC.
The candidates were asked to respond to three questions in 450 words or less. Their responses have been edited for spelling, grammar and word count.
1: Rep. Virginia Foxx voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Opponent Elisabeth Motsinger has said she would support another federal stimulus package. Candidates, what steps do you believe work best for spurring job creation and improving the economic outlook for American families?
2: Why do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act? What alternative or additional steps must the government take to make health care more affordable and ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can get adequate insurance coverage?
3: In your professional life and while in elected office, what actions are you most proud of taking? What misconceptions do voters have about you and your leadership style?
The Obama administration told Americans that if his trillion-dollar stimulus package became law,
unemployment would drop to 5.5 percent. Instead, unemployment today is about 8 percent, our
national debt hit $16 trillion for the first time and thousands of North Carolina families still
can’t find work.
I opposed this wasteful stimulus bill because I knew big government wouldn’t grow our economy — it would only increase our national debt. The real sources of job creation are entrepreneurs and small businesses.
If we get government off job-creators’ backs, by reducing harmful red-tape and bureaucracy and by keeping taxes low, we’ll get back to what America does best: growing our economy and creating jobs.
2) I have been a consistent opponent of Obamacare. It’s an enormous
expansion of government that drives up health care costs for North Carolina families.
In contrast, I co-sponsored the Reform Americans Can Afford Act. This legislation lowers costs for patients with pre-existing conditions through the establishment of state reinsurance programs; it would lower health care premiums by up to 20 percent for families and small businesses; and it gives small businesses the power to pool together to get insurance at lower prices.
It does all this without massive government overreach while also bringing down costs — which Obamacare has demonstrably failed to do.
For three decades, my husband and I ran a successful nursery and landscaping business in the High
Country. That invaluable experience gave me countless insights into the struggles of small-business
people and those who work hard to provide for their families and achieve their dreams. I bring that
perspective to Congress where I fight for common-sense policies that encourage small businesses to
grow and create jobs. I’m also proud of my strong record of cutting spending, fighting
government waste and working to support the men and women of our armed forces.
Some people misunderstand my position on runaway federal spending. Make no mistake: federal spending needs to be reduced. The federal government took on responsibilities it should not have taken on, such as in education and health care. That’s why the federal government typically spends piles of taxpayer money in these areas and gets poor results. If we want better results, we should return responsibility for those issues and others back to states and local governments.
That does not mean there is no role for government in these areas. The key is that it’s not the federal government’s role. Many people equate cutting federal spending with eliminating programs altogether. However, there would be money for those programs to be run more efficiently if they were handled by state and local governments and the federal government did not tax that money out of the state and local economies.
1) If we are to remain a great nation, our economy must support a large and secure middle class. I will work for full employment and decent wages for all Americans. Despite arguments to the contrary, we have not all suffered proportionally during this economic downturn. I will support policies that strengthen the middle class by requiring all Americans to pay their fair share in taxes. Government incentives must target job creators: true small businesses and family farms. Job exporters should be held accountable.
2) The Affordable Care Act is an attempt to ensure that all Americans have access to basic, decent healthcare, and I support that. I also support the act’s provision that insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. American health care is among the most costly in the world, partly because it is a patchwork of programs and not a system that is focused on the health and well-being of the patient. If everyone had equal access to health care, including preventative care, we would spend less public money on critical care situations.
3) I am most proud of my record as a twice-elected member of the local school board. I successfully introduced systems thinking in our public schools so that students will learn critical-thinking skills. In my six years, I have been successful in working with others whose views differ greatly from my own in order to improve the educational experience for our children. In my professional life, I am proud that I have provided excellent health care for my patients and have built strong and meaningful relationships with them over a period of years.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of candidate Elisabeth Motsinger's husband. The story has been corrected.