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Race For House 50 Profile: Hannah Hopes To Make Small Businesses Top Priority

By Rachel Nash Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm

N.C. House of Representatives District 50 Republican candidate Lewis Hannah thinks supporting small businesses should be a top priority in the legislature.

Hannah, 62, has more than 35 years experience as a community banker and served previously as a Trustee of the Triangle Transit Authority. He says the legislature is lacking perspective on what true small business needs, adding that lawmakers have not done “a bad job,” but he believes that there is room for improvement.

“My background in business-oriented decision making, I think, is needed in the legislature in general,” Hannah says.

Hannah will face off against Hillsborough resident and pastor Rod Chaney in the May 6 Republican Primary for the seat which represents parts of Orange and Durham Counties.

House 50 Representative Graig Meyer, who was appointed to the seat in late October after Senator Valerie Foushee moved to the District 23 position, is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

Hannah, a North Carolina native who currently lives in Efland, says if he is elected, he will concentrate on the revision of the state’s lien law, examine sources which could fund infrastructure improvements, and support efforts to boost business in areas that have suffered job loss over the past decade.

When asked about Governor Pat McCrory, Hannah did not directly comment on his job performance, but says he and the General Assembly should come together in support of small businesses.

Regarding the state’s controversial Voter ID legislation, which McCrory signed into law in August of last year, Hannah says he does not oppose it. The law requires voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls beginning in 2016. Other provisions of the bill significantly shorten the early voting period and end same-day registration.

“I have no problems with it. I am a banker. Every time you walk into a bank, you have to produce identification,” he says.

On the subject of the state’s ban on gay marriage, Hannah says the interpretation of the legislative language may be incorrect.

“I think it is a difficult bill. I think some interesting things were consecrated in it, and the people who drafted [Amendment One] didn’t think about [those things]. It is what I said the last time I ran— the contract language and it has been affirmed by several justices that I have spoken with— actually seems to be in contradiction to the laws that are on the books on that subject.”

When asked about primary opponent Rod Chaney, Hannah says he believes that the two differ on several platform issues. Both ran against Foushee for the House 50 seat in 2012.

“I would say it is a question of focus and experience. I am not in favor of government legislating any more than necessary for the promotion of commerce,” Hannah says. “I go with what Johne Locke said—that government exists to support commerce. I really do not believe that government should be into social engineering.”

Hannah states that government regulations of all types have a place in sustaining the state’s economy, but believes over-regulation stifles growth.

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