Incumbent touts prosperity, challenger digs at values
CHARLOTTE – State Senator Dan Bishop’s road to a second term will have to go through a primary as Beth Monaghan is challenging the District 39 incumbent in the May 8 Republican Primary.
Chad Stachowicz and Ann Harlan are competing for the Democratic nomination in District 39 in the May 8 Democratic Primary and the winner will face either Bishop or Monaghan in the Nov. 6 general election. Stachowicz lives in Charlotte while Harlan resides in Matthews.
Bishop, a native and lifelong resident of Charlotte, said one reason he is running for a second term is to help continue what he says is the progress made by the Republican-controlled Senate. Monaghan, a native of North Carolina, said two of the reasons she jumped into the race were because she said Bishop doesn’t represent the values of the district and that her experience of starting and growing a business will be a plus in Raleigh.
Bishop, a former two-term Mecklenburg County commissioner, represented south Charlotte in the N.C. House of Representatives for one term (2015-2017) before being elected to the N.C. Senate in 2016 and he said the state has prospered with Republicans holding super-majorities in both chambers.
Bishop pointed to a November 2017 Forbes.com report that ranked North Carolina the No. 1 state to do business in that year.
“Our economic successes have been continuous,” Bishop said. “We cut taxes. We have created an unprecedented rainy-day fund. If we can extend this management of state government into a second decade, we have the potential to transform North Carolina from a poor Southeastern state into an economic juggernaut on par with Texas, Florida and the biggest, fastest moving economies in the country.”
Monaghan said Bishop’s sponsorship of HB2, or the bathroom bill which in part required people to use the public bathroom that corresponds with their biological gender, when he was in the House tarnished the state’s image. She also said her experience as a businesswoman and the fact that she is a political newcomer is a better fit for the district. Monaghan founded the Monaghan Group and led the accounting business for 20 years before selling it.
“My senator is not representing my values and I don’t think he is representing the values of the district, individual dignity, equal rights, equal justice, free enterprise, limited government.” Monaghan said. “Those are all stated North Carolina Republican values. My senator didn’t represent those values when he wrote HB2. I want voters to have another option. I am a collaborative problem solver. I’m not a career politician.”
Bishop still believes the city of Charlotte’s “ludicrous step of outlawing separate bathrooms for men and women,” which is what prompted HB2, was a bad idea. Bishop added the controversy has been put to rest after HB2 was partially repealed last year.
“What I have been talking to voters about in this election is the fact that our ideas have worked,” Bishop said. “It’s critical to continue moving forward, and it’s not easy. There is a hostile media and a special interest or two that are interested in creating controversy instead of prosperity for all of North Carolina. That is what the election is about.”
Bishop sits on 19 committees in the Senate and thinks that’s a plus for the district.
Monaghan said it would be an honor if she was elected.
“I’m doing this from a place of responsibility and gratitude,” Monaghan said. “I have lived in Charlotte for 45 years. I don’t think anybody has any more responsibility to try and shift things in the General Assembly as I do. I can’t think of a better way to say thank you to the Charlotte community, especially the business community.”