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: Dorothea E. White, NC Senate, District 2
Interview Date: 10-18-16
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Interviewed: On Phone
Name: Dorothea White
Graduated from New Bern High School as an honor graduate (77th in a class of 577) in 1972.
Received a computer programing degree from Craven Community College in 1985.
Earned a degree in business administration from NC Wesleyan College in 1988.
I’ve given service to my community for 30 years including but not limited to:
NC Association of County Boards of Social Services (also served as Regional Director)
Craven County Board of DSS (Department of Social Services)
Charter member of NC African American Network
Historic Preservation Committee (6 years)
Planning & Zoning (6 years)
Secretary & Treasurer of Craven Pop Warner Association
Order of Eastern Star (17 years – Have served as Associate Matron & Chaplin)
Craven County Voters League (Secretary for 18 years)
Demonstrations of Leadership:
Served as Chairman of Craven County Board of DSS for 3 years.
Served as Superintendent of St. John’s Church’s Sunday School and Director of its Vacation Bible School for almost 10 years, and directed many plays performed in church.
Plus, the other offices held as indicated above.
Memberships and Associations:
Why are you running for this office?
I believe we are responsible to see that all people are represented – in body, mind, and spirit. We have a diverse community, and we must provide for all of them.
I am concerned about the environment, our water, our natural resources, air quality, and energy. I’m also concerned about our education and our economy in eastern North Carolina. We need better paying jobs in the area.
What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fund raising capability, etc.?
First, make sure people believe in you, and check to see if you have common goals. Then appeal to your constituency and hope that, if you have common goals and if they share your reasons for running, they will support that effort.
Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire? Why?
I appreciate John Adams’ responsiveness to people to represent the 13 colonies and for being able to pen the thoughts of that group.
I appreciate Benjamin Franklin for getting the word out as to why they were doing what they were doing.
Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree? Why, or why not?
I think it’s correct.
Leadership also means you can present your point of view so that you educate, persuade, and convince everyone to come together around that idea as one.
Which President do you most admire? Why?
Well, I have three.
Abraham Lincoln for his leadership skills and his desire to hold this country together.
FDR for his leadership and oratorical skills.
And our current President, Barrack Obama, because he was able to be a change agent.
Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:
- An evolving document whose meaning changes with time, or
- A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?
I do not believe that the Constitution was meant to evolve. They said what they meant and meant what they said.
Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened? How did you resolve it?
We know that ethically we should do the right thing for the right reason at the right time.
There was a time when two people I know were not getting along. I was asked to side with one of them. I felt in a dilemma about what to do.
After thinking about it, I decided to try to bring them to common ground. It worked, so I believe I was successful.
Where do individual rights come from?
We are all born with certain rights and privileges. Being a Christian, I hope that doesn’t offend you. In this land, we have laws, rules, regulations that affect how those rights are utilized.
What do you know about Common Core? What is your position on it and why?
It’s one of those ethical dilemmas. It’s been described as standards in education to assure that no matter where you come from in the country, you know what these standards require.
In NC, I understand it is causing serious discussions and issues in the Department of Education, and with teachers as well as students. I believe another plan should be instituted for North Carolina.
What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?
Gun ownership is a right according to our Constitution, but there are severe repercussions in the type of guns some people own.
Along with the right to bear arms, there are certain locations and situations where I don’t think it is best. Therefore, gun free zones are necessary.
As to registration, I think that if I own a gun, yes, it should be registered.
What does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?
There are laws and rules that govern our churches as well as our state. However, both have the opportunity to influence each other. Both have the opportunity to co-exist to rule the people.
If elected, what would be your number one priority item during your term in office?
To represent all the people I’m elected to represent fairly, honestly, and with integrity. To enforce the rules of law that govern our state and to represent all genres of people.
This interview was conducted by Kathryn Blankley, Hal James, and Raynor James