CHARLOTTE – As Democrats and Republicans grow more polarized, Al Pisano hopes to give voters another option this election season as he runs for governor.
The south Charlotte resident has entered the race representing the Constitution Party.
Pisano said members of the Constitution Party believe in seven core values they see as essential to American government. The values are life, religious freedom, a traditional family, private property rights, support of the Second Amendment, anti-socialism and the belief that every nation in the world has the right to national sovereignty.
“Our party is saying, ‘let’s follow the Constitution,’” Pisano said. “There’s a procedure put in place for reasons, let’s quit bypassing it for convenience and let’s follow the Constitution.’ The other parties aren’t doing that.”
Pisano said the Constitution Party of North Carolina began in Charlotte in 2008. He was elected chairman of the party and has served in that capacity since. In 2018, the state legislature recognized the Constitution Party and gave it valid access onto the ballot. To maintain valid access, Pisano said they must run a candidate for governor. After being encouraged by his fellow executive board members, he decided to run.
Every member and candidate of the party must sign a form that indicates they agree with the values. Pisano said candidates are vetted if they want to represent the Constitution Party and they will not be endorsed if they do not agree with the values.
“If you see the Constitution Party has endorsed a candidate, you’re going to know what they stand for,” Pisano said. “Lately, other parties have watered down their platforms to such a degree and you’re really not sure what you’re getting when you’re in the voting booth, especially in the two main parties.”
Candidates have flexibility when it comes to issues outside of the seven core values, he said.
The main issue Pisano is running on is Second Amendment rights. He believes the rights of the Second Amendment uphold all the other rights that define American freedoms.
His main concern is red flag laws, which prevent those with mental health issues or addictions from obtaining arms. He said this takes away from a constitutional right.
“If they can put you into some mental health system and flag you, they’re saying that your Second Amendment rights can be stripped,” Pisano said. “It’s a very dangerous thing when you start looking at it. What other rights can they take from you if they declare you to be mentally unfit? That’s the danger with these red flag laws. I, as governor, will not sign off on any red flag law because I believe it’s unconstitutional. And even if it was enacted, I would use the power as the governor as much as I could to stop unconstitutional laws from being enacted.”
He would support constitutional carry, which would allow citizens to carry firearms. Though he knows shootings are a concern, he urges citizens to refer to the Bill of Rights. If elected governor, he plans to be very conservative when it comes to making laws that he believes would impede on citizens’ rights.
“Shootings are an easy boogeyman to be attacked,” Pisano said. “But we have to remember that we’re talking about our rights as Americans that define us from the rest of the world and why so many people want to come here. It’s those rights that we have.”
Though he does not have experience in politics, Pisano has 30 years of experience in police work, which he believes will serve as an advantage. Pisano has seen government policies in action and has observed problems he wants to bring to lawmakers’ attention.
He also believes his work in law enforcement and as a detective allowed him to learn how to work with different types of people, think outside of the box and develop organizational skills. He plans to use all of these if elected.
“When they set the system up, they weren’t looking for professional people or geniuses,” Pisano said. “They wanted ‘we the people’ to be able to be involved and do this type of thing. I’ve got the qualifications and experience in government, maybe not so much in politics but in the nuts and bolts of how our government actually runs and bringing the policies and procedures to the people.”
As governor, Pisano believes he could bring issues to the forefront that Democrats and Republicans are not talking about. He believes in the free market, both in business and in politics.
As a third-party candidate, he understands it will be challenging to get votes. But it’s not going to stop him from trying.
“To me, it’s offensive that we are bound by the choices of two private political organizations that tell us who we can and can’t vote for,” Pisano said. “This isn’t about the candidates or the parties. This is about the voters and their choice. And them being able to choose to vote for who they feel best represents them.”
Pisano said he plans to run a grassroots campaign comprised of volunteers. He plans to omit any “slick campaigning or flowery speeches” and wants to just be available to the people. He will travel the state, visiting gun shows, church groups and any groups who are willing to talk to him and hear his message.
On the web: www.consti tutionpartync.com
Running for governor
• Constitution Party: Al Pisano.
• Democratic Party: Roy Cooper & Ernest Reeves.
• Libertarian Party: Steven DiFiore.
• Republican Party: Holly Grange & Dan Forest.