Candidate Interview-Norman Sanderson, NC Senate

Interview questions were developed by a Vetting Committee of 10 members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. All candidates for a particular office were asked the same questions. Interviews were conducted by 3 rotating members of the Vetting Committee. Summaries are the agreed-upon consensus of each 3-member group. Candidates were asked to interview in-person, but phone interviews were offered for candidates living outside Craven County if schedules would not allow travel.
Name, Candidate Position: Norman Sanderson, NC Senate
Interview Date: 10-11-16
Party Affiliation: Republican
Interviewed: In-Person
Name:   Norman Sanderson
Phone:   252-249-3749
Address: 269 Bennett Road, Arapahoe, NC, 28510
Educational Background:

I began college at NC State University, with a focus in Agricultural Education.  I transferred to Logo University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education.
I’ve served in the General Assembly for almost 6 years, and you learn something new every day you’re there.
Demonstrations of Leadership:
I ran the Pamlico County Republican Party for 4 years, served as the 1st Vice-Chairman of the 3rd Congressional District Executive Committee, served as the Vice-Chairman of CCTA, and served on the boards of several other Christian and community organizations.
Memberships and Associations:
I’ve been a member of three Chambers of Commerce, Craven County, Pamlico County, and Havelock.
I’m a member of the Committee of 100 of Pamlico County.
I’m a member of the Pamlico County Communities in Schools.
Why are you running for this office?
My reasons haven’t changed. The state of North Carolina needs to be in the charge of conservatives. The General Assembly was full of “tax and spend” types. We were headed for trouble. I had had business experience that could be useful. The General Assembly is still not conservative enough, but we’ve made some significant improvements and can do more.
What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fund raising capability, etc.?
Up until this year, I had a full time campaign consultant, and that person is still working on social media and ads, but Jennifer (Norm’s daughter) is handling most of the campaign now, and Frankie (Jennifer’s husband) is my Treasurer. He’s tough on me; he watches the campaign account carefully and wants to know about the details of each transaction right away.
Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?
He was a man of prayer. He was a man of vision. He quietly got so much done. He was courageous, especially during the Revolution. He was the first in so many things. He was our first military leader. He was our first President. He gave this nation many years of service.
Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
I do agree.
Consensus is what happens when you’re stuck and nobody can make a decision. Nobody is able to convince other people that his decision is the correct one. As it was once expressed, “One man with courage is a majority.”  Minds are changed.   That’s leadership.

Which President do you most admire?
He turned to God when he was almost killed in an assassination attempt. He did his best work after that. He had the ability to say something mean to you and make you like it. He was the first true conservative I was aware of.
Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:
            a. An evolving document whose meaning changes with time, or
            b. A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?
It’s “b.” Absolutely.
I’ve heard Supreme Court Justices say it’s evolving. It’s not so. It’s a rock, our foundation. It does not change. It’s all the direction we need.
Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened? How did you resolve it?
I don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation. I’ve worked in a lot of areas in which ethics matter a great deal, but I’ve been aware of it, and I’ve been very careful.
Starting in law enforcement, I was very aware that, if you’re going to testify in court, you need to be careful, and your own record of behavior has to measure up. The same is true of the real estate business, the child care business, and working in the General Assembly.
Where do individual rights come from?
God. They’re guaranteed by our Constitution.
What do you know about Common Core? What is your position on it and why?
Y’all “took me to school” on Common Core.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d put it below 5. The states should decide on their standards. I think the place Common Core comes from is wrong. It needs to be replaced by our own North Carolina standards.
What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?
Every American citizen (unless prohibited by criminal activity or it’s proven that you’re not mentally competent) should be able to own guns.
I think there should be some registration, but it shouldn’t be nearly as intrusive as it is. I don’t want anyone to know how many guns I have.
You can put up a “Gun Free Zone” sign, but you’re just putting honest people at a disadvantage.
What does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?
The state shall not declare a state religion. Also, religion shall not dictate what the state does. Churches should influence (but not write) the laws.
If elected, what would be your number one priority item during your term in office?
I have a bunch of them.
For example, I’ve asked to co-chair the Justice and Public Safety Committee because I think protection of police officers needs to be strengthened.
Also, the illegal ID cards that are being issued in some cities needs to stop.  We almost got that done in the last session, but the job needs to be finished.
This interview was conducted by Kathryn Blankley, Hal James, and Raynor James.

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