Brock set to face Andrews

In his first legislative term, Brock tried to leave his mark on a wide range of issues from tort reform and healthcare to education and tax reform.

No matter what comes before the Senate, Brock says, he always asks himself a question: “Who’s going to pay for it?”

Brock filed last week for a second term in N.C. Senate District 34, which has been redrawn. If new district lines survive a court challenge, District 34 will consist of Rowan and Davie counties.

Brock’s present district includes 34 precincts in Rowan and all of Davie and Yadkin counties.

Brock, a Davie County Republican, already faces a primary July 20. Rowan County Commissioner Gus Andrews of Salisbury also has filed as a Republican candidate for the District 34 seat.

The filing period ends this coming Friday.

Brock, 30, works as as political consultant. This year, he has been working on the campaign of 5th District congressional candidate Ed Broyhill.

Brock is a Western Carolina University graduate who is a former field director for Citizens for a Sound Economy. He still lives on his family’s farm in Davie County.

In the Senate, Brock serves on the Appropriations/Base Budget, Finance, Pensions & Retirement and Aging, Transportation and Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources committees.

He has been happy with those assignments, believing they fit in with his primary interests.

Brock says it’s unusual for a freshman senator to sit on both the Appropriations and Finance committees, which deal with the budget and taxation. He believes transportation decisions will be vital to Rowan County’s future and says agriculture still represents the state’s No. 1 business.

From a senator’s standpoint, Brock says, the most recent legislative term has been difficult because of the thousands of lost jobs at Pillowtex, the effect of those lost jobs on other businesses and the overall economy.He says he and other legislators have been trying to help families who have been affected.

When he asks who’s going to pay for new programs, Brock says he first thinks about seniors on fixed incomes who must be able to afford two key expenses in their lives: prescription drugs and taxes.

Brock supports tort reform that would put caps on medical malpractice awards. He questions wholesale incentives to attract new industries and believes more state support or at least similar incentives should go to existing businesses, especially small business.

“We’re not doing our best in the state of North Carolina to help them,” he said. “When are we going to do something to help small business?”

Brock takes pride in his knowledge of the Senate’s rules and procedures and describes himself as a watchdog who used that expertise to at least slow down Democrat-sponsored legislation that he opposed. He says he gained respect from his Democratic colleagues for the way he used the rules, though Republicans continue in the minority in the Senate.

Brock introduced or co-sponsored 91 total bills in 2003. Several bills, most of which remain in committee, deal with educational matters. Brock supports, for example, a proposal to move the start of the public school year to after Labor Day.

He has been an outspoken opponent of a statewide lottery.

Brock believes the redistricting was an attempt to weaken his position in District 34, but he welcomes the challenge and says he’ll continue his personal style of campaigning.

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Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka@salisburypost.com.

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