Carolina Democracy

The Value of Showing Up

April 01, 2024 JD Wooten Season 3 Episode 12
The Value of Showing Up
Carolina Democracy
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Carolina Democracy
The Value of Showing Up
Apr 01, 2024 Season 3 Episode 12
JD Wooten

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by Chuck Hubbard, Democratic candidate for the North Carolina 5th Congressional District seeking to defeat Virginia Foxx. We also kicked off the episode with updates on several of the lawsuits here in North Carolina focusing on gerrymandering and the latest power-grabs by the GOP-led General Assembly.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by Chuck Hubbard, Democratic candidate for the North Carolina 5th Congressional District seeking to defeat Virginia Foxx. We also kicked off the episode with updates on several of the lawsuits here in North Carolina focusing on gerrymandering and the latest power-grabs by the GOP-led General Assembly.

Learn More About Chuck Hubbard:

Democracy Docket:

Contact Us:

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Chuck Hubbard: I learned the value of showing up. Retail politics is a real thing on an individual basis, meet people where they are, talk to them, you know find out if we have common ground, which most times I do have common ground with people, you know, and what are your needs, what are your concerns. That's important to me, just showing up. 

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Welcome to Carolina Democracy. I’m JD Wooten, and today we’ve got out first congressional candidate of the season on the show, Chuck Hubbard. Chuck is running to unseat the infamous Virginia Foxx in the North Carolina 5th Congressional District. It’s Easter Monday, so in keeping at least with a little with the spirit of the holiday, all I’ll say personality wise is Congresswoman Foxx was MAGA before MAGA was a thing. You’ll hear Chuck describe her as having previously been a back bencher without much real influence until the MAGA wing of the GOP took solid control, leaving her with a lot more influence and even leadership than she had previously. Perhaps some of that is a natural process of gaining seniority too, but regardless she’s the current chair of the House Education Committee. Whatever you think of Congresswoman Foxx’s other political positions, most relevant to this podcast, she’s on the wrong side of all things democracy related, including trying to deny several states the right to cast votes for Joe Biden in 2020, voting against certification of the 2020 election, voting against Trump’s insurrection impeachment, voting against a January 6th commission, and so forth.

She’s been in Congress for nearly 20 years and her district has changed plenty of times over the years, but it’s generally been in and around the Winston-Salem and surrounding areas of northwest North Carolina. Today, thanks to creative gerrymandering, that district hugs North Carolina’s northwest border counties with Virginia, running all the way from the Tennessee border on the west, including Boone and App State, across to parts of east Greensboro. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, Chuck’s got an uphill battle given the way the district is drawn, but it’s by no means impossible, especially in the current political climate, so hear him out and please consider supporting him.

Two weeks ago we finally played some catch up on former President Trump’s legal saga, and those of course that continues to unfold. As many expected, the New York judge overseeing the criminal case stemming from attempted election interference and business records fraud has made it clear he’s not interested in political theater or delays. He’s imposed a limited gag order on President Trump to limit his ability to direct comments at various personnel related to the trial, and he’s ordered that the juror names will be shielded from public disclosure for their safety and to help avoid potential witness tampering, harassment, and so forth. Trump is already testing the bounds of that order by going after family members of Court personnel, and a new request to expand the gag order or clarify that the gag order includes family members has already been filed. That trial is set to kick off in two weeks, on April 15th. Down in Georgia, Trump and co-defendants have appealed the trial judge’s decision to allow District Attorney Fani Willis to continue on the case, but that really looks like nothing more than a delay tactic, which is certainly par for the course here. And we don’t have any other major updates, at least that I can think of at the moment, in the D.C. and Florida federal cases.

Last week, we took a look at some polling and hopefully your takeaway was that at least as of now, the polls continue to reflect that the presidential race will be close but that the trends are moving in the right direction. I try not to focus on the actual numbers, but rather those trends, because we don’t want to go into October sitting at 48 / 47 or something close like that. We want it to be 61 / 39 so that if the polls are off by double digits, it’s still at least 51 / 49. Also, we really shouldn’t aim for anything less considering one the one side we have a life-long public servant and genuinely upstanding guy who’s biggest weakness at the moment seems to be that he’s a grandfatherly figure, while on the other side we have a known con artist fraudster with a history of sexual assault and brazen bigotry currently facing 88 felonies and who, oh by the way, tried to violently overthrow the results of a democratic election to stay in office after losing. To be clear, I’m not advocating for violence in what I’m about to say, but damn near any other time in history someone who tried to violently overthrow a government and failed would have been shot or hung, drawn, and quartered almost immediately. I cherish the fact that we are now a society in which he won’t even spend a day in jail without due process, but give me a break, that’s a far cry from letting the guy anywhere close to holding public office again. It reminds me of my long-standing criticism of Confederate monuments. We shouldn’t p ut up statues for losers who committed treason and insurrection, and we probably shouldn’t let them hold office again either. 

But, I digress. On a positive note, yet another major poll came out this past week that shows Biden gaining ground on Trump in six out of the likely seven key swing states for this year’s election. Mind you this is just one poll, and it’s just one snap shot in time, but again, it shows a continued positive trend in the key battleground states and I’m ok with that this far out.

Now, I also mentioned several weeks ago that I’d catch everyone up on the current litigation going on in North Carolina over redistricting and other democracy related issues. Let’s start with redistricting. There are currently 4 cases, 3 in federal court and 1 in state court. With no better way of organizing this, I’ll go through them in the order they were filed. I’ll also note that these descriptions are largely lifted from Democracy Docket, an extremely helpful progressive news platform for information, analysis, and opinion about voting rights and elections in the courts. I’ll leave a link in the show notes if you’re interested in getting information from them first hand or even supporting their work.

First up, Pierce v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of two Black voters challenging the state Senate map based on allegations that the map dilutes the voting power of Black voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint alleges that the districts “crack Black voters in the Black Belt counties in northeastern North Carolina, resulting in the dilution of their electoral strength.” In January, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, something I spoke about briefly in a prior episode. The plaintiffs appealed, and the appellate court unfortunately affirmed the denial of the motion just last week. As I mentioned several weeks ago, the plaintiffs faced an uphill battle to say the least in getting an injunction and court order to redraw the maps this close to an election, although my personal opinion is that the problem is one of the GOP’s own making by waiting until the 11th hour to draw the maps in the first place. In effect, they deliberately shielded themselves from Court intervention knowing that courts would be exceedingly reluctant to act in an election year. Never-the-less, litigation on this case will continue to determine if the maps have to change for future elections even though we won’t see any change this year.

Next is Williams v. Hall, a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Black and Latino voters challenging North Carolina’s congressional map based on cracking and packing North Carolina’s minority voters to entrench the state’s white majority and “erasing the gains made by voters of color in the 2020 and 2022 election cycles.” The lawsuit points to the fact that the new map dismantles existing districts across the state where minority voters had an equal opportunity to elect their preferred candidates and underscores North Carolina’s history of racial discrimination in voting and redistricting. The lawsuit specifically challenges the 1st, 6th, 12th and 14th Congressional Districts for being unconstitutional racially gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The lawsuit contends that in addition to being drawn with race as the predominant factor, the challenged districts are intentionally discriminatory in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments. The case is consolidated with the next case, North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. Berger.

That case, North Carolina NAACP v. Berger, is the 3d of our federal lawsuits. The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Common Cause, and individual Black voters have challenged all three legislative maps -- congressional, state House, and state Senate map. The plaintiffs ask the court to strike down all three maps for violating the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution and to order the Legislature to enact new, lawful maps for use no later than the 2026 elections. This is the case that Gino of Common Cause referred to a few weeks ago when he was on the show. This lawsuit makes many of the same or similar arguments as the other lawsuits about cracking and packing minority groups to dilute their influence, and in its arguments on the Congressional map, it includes arguments specifically to the Triad area which you’ll hear discussed in my interview with Chuck momentarily. The Triad—Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem—is a particularly egregious example of cracking voters. Under the last maps, the 6th Congressional District was a solidly Democratic district with a sizable though not quite majority-minority population. The new maps take any such opportunity away by dividing, or cracking in redistricting litigation lingo, the Democratic-leaning populations, again with a very large minority population into separate districts with large Republican-leaning populations. The new Congressional 5th, in which Chuck is running, has most of that Democratic-leaning population in Greensboro, High Point is mostly the 6th Congressional District, and Winston-Salem is mostly the 10th. I say mostly because even these major cities are divided up, meaning the cities themselves have no single voice in Congress either, despite the fact that they could all be in a single district as they are now so that the Triad, a clear and unmistakable community with common interests, could have true representation in Congress.

That takes us to our last case, Bard v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, the lone state court case. I discussed this case several weeks ago because former State Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, who is also a former Republican, is one of the attorneys who brought this case. This case was filed on behalf of North Carolina voters challenging all three maps. The crux of the argument they are making is that because the North Carolina Constitution guarantees citizens a right to “frequent” and “free” elections, it “surely… guarantees them the right to ‘fair’ elections” as well. According to the plaintiffs, the right to “fair” elections is “an unenumerated right reserved by the people and fundamental to the very concept of elections and the underpinnings of democracy.” I’ll note that in a previous oral argument, Chief Justice Newby made a big deal about the fact that the constitution only guarantees free elections, not fair elections, so I think he’s already shown his hand on this argument at least indirectly, but perhaps something will change. Never-the-less, I’m glad to see these arguments being made more squarely and directly than they have been before despite the fact that I won’t be holding my breath that the current state supreme court has a sudden change of heart on how they feel about gerrymandering, especially when they so egregiously tossed aside more than a century of precedent to re-open a decided case even though the only change was the membership of the Court, not the facts or law surrounding the case itself.

The last case I’ll mention today is Cooper v. Berger, a state court case focused on the General Assembly’s latest attempted power grab. This case challenged Senate Bill 749, which among other things, shifted the power to appoint members of the State Board of Elections from the governor to the legislature. It also created an elections board with an even number of members, evenly divided between the parties, in what almost any reasonable person could foresee as a train wreck of deadlock and inaction. As it currently stands, the board has 5 members with the governor’s party, whichever party that may be, holding 3 of those seats. So essentially, the people of North Carolina get to decide through the election of the governor which party controls the state board of elections while the other party still has a sizeable representation on the board. The trial court, in a unanimous opinion from a 3-judge panel, struck down the law as unconstitutional. The legislative defendants have of course appealed, so we’ll be keeping track of what happens next.

Ok, that’s enough legal updates for one day, even for me, and I’m an attorney who geeks out on this stuff. If you have questions about any of it, shoot us an email and we’ll do our best to answer or find someone who can answer. It can feel complicated and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, and we’ll keep doing our best to break it down for everyone and keep you informed.

Now, let’s hear from our guest today, Chuck Hubbard, hope you enjoy! 

[music transition]

JD Wooten: All right with me today is Chuck Hubbard, Democratic nominee for the Fifth Congressional District here in North Carolina. Welcome to the show. 

Chuck Hubbard: Well, thank you for having me. 

JD Wooten: Absolutely. So first question right out the gate, what's your earliest memory of politics or getting involved in politics?

Chuck Hubbard: You know, I published the Wilkes Journal Patriot for 40 years and I was a reporter then a publisher and I grew up in our family's paper at the Wilkes Journal Patriot We didn't really involve ourselves in politics, you know, our motto was independent politics. My grandfather, who founded the paper after the First World War, he had some experiences there getting involved politically that, that didn't turn out well in terms of the paper, losing advertising and stuff. Plus, we felt like that you can't advocate for the community. adequately in that fashion. We need to be able to represent both sides. 

But my earliest recollections of politics period are Lyndon Johnson as a child, being the president, you know, and, and my parents were, loved Johnson, you know, and, and of course, hard on the heels of, of, of Johnson came Watergate, which you know, gave me certain feelings about Richard Nixon and, and the appropriateness of, of doing the right thing and in all of that, you know, and then of course came along, came Carter and then Reagan, you know, but, and we also in our family, we were Rufus Edmiston fans and I'm grateful to have Rufus very much behind us in this campaign. 

As far as getting involved politically, we sold the paper in 2020, times are hard for, for small newspapers, and so we sold. And that allowed me to run for the North Carolina House of Representatives. I wasn't exactly just filling a slot, but it was a nominal chance of winning, that's Wilkes and Alexander counties, and they're just as red as they can be, and there wasn't any way we're going to move the dial, but it was a way for me to get into a campaign and figure out how this thing works, and what to do, and meet a lot of nice people, you know, particularly, and it worked out too for me, because Wilkes and Alexander are also in my district now, in the 5th district. But we, we lost that race, but my, I had known Virginia Foxx her entire career, politically, and my intention had always been to run against her she's vulnerable now, and she was vulnerable then, even, even through the years, she's been vulnerable. It's just a matter of getting the right campaign to do it.

JD Wooten: Well, those all sound like very formidable experiences, and we'll come back to a couple of them here in a moment, I'm sure. But, I can sympathize with and say thank you, both as somebody who's done it and as somebody who appreciates others who do it, taking a turn in the firing squad in a uphill battle, let's call it that. A race that's designed to not be favorable.

Chuck Hubbard: It's sort of taking one for the team, you know. 

JD Wooten: Absolutely it's taking one for the team and you know, there's something to be said for even if you know the outcome of the election is likely determined ahead of time, either for gerrymandering or just demographics of a district Otherwise, there's still something to be said about giving voters a choice when they look to their ballot and so I really commend that so thank you.

Chuck Hubbard: Thank you. 

JD Wooten: So let's go back to some of that background. So you already mentioned your Wilkes County native, your grandfather started the local paper, the Wilkes Journal Patriot, you know, since sold, but you got your start with that paper at the ripe age of eight. As I understand it, you were even physically putting the paper together and in the mailroom by high school, you were on the news side. You went on to be a full time journalist and, you know, all the way up until just recently, you touched on this just briefly about kind of being independent of it, but how did that experience in journalism maybe affect your thinking on politics today? 

Chuck Hubbard: You know, when you talk about going to work at the paper at eight years old, a lot of times Newspapers, small newspapers, just like any small business, it's kind of like a family farm. Everybody has to pitch in, you know? And when I was eight years old and I was tall enough to stand up to a table and insert one section into another there I went, you know, and I suppose it was a lark at first It was a way to have a little extra spending money. 

I started covering news at age 16. I got a camera as well, and, and the job was not optional. And it was a very strange life. I might be out at midnight at a homicide, and then back at eight o'clock in the morning you know, at school. The kids all knew that I worked the paper, but I didn't really talk too much about that side of it because they wouldn't understand it.

 I understood that Republicans at that point were on the receiving end of, of I guess of being ignored or something like that. It was a vastly Democratic state. And so resources didn't come here for highways and things like that. So I'm very sensitive to the fact that Republicans ignore Democratic areas now. I'm very sensitive to that. We need to remove politics from discussions about infrastructure and, and public schools.

JD Wooten: Well, yeah, we can get back to some of those specific issues here in a minute. I think those are all extraordinarily important points. I love that point about trying to take politics out of some of the things where politics has managed to find itself injected into, and I'm sure that coming from a background of journalism and covering those things helped with appreciating that. So you went from the journalist and publisher experience and really being in the community. And then you had the opportunity to take one for the team, as we said. You ran for office and state house seat in 2022. Now I understand, you know, that, that district is, was an uphill challenge at best to begin with, but I'm sure like you alluded to, there were a lot of great lessons to be learned. So in addition to maybe the relationships you built along the way, what were some of the lessons in campaigning and being out with the people, that sort of thing that, that you're still managing to continue with on this much bigger campaign now.

Chuck Hubbard: Well, I learned the value of showing up. You know when Democrats are together or, or to be willing to have those conversations with people, even uncomfortable conversations. Retail politics is a real thing on an individual basis, meet people where they are, talk to them, you know find out if we have common ground, which most times I do have common ground with people, you know, and what are your needs, what are your concerns. That's important to me, just showing up. 

And we've done that a lot. We have a ten county district here. That you know, ranges from the urban to the extremely rural. You know, and we've been in all places. We're not foolish enough to think that we don't have to put a lot of energy, for example, into Greensboro in order to win this race, you know, and Watauga too. We are meeting people where they are in every county. We're going to their meetings. We're, we're talking to folks. We're extending our hand, you know, and that's a lot of it. Just listen to people, talk to them, listen to their humanity and share a moment.

Of course the importance of fundraising as well, you know, which was, I'll tell you when I first got into this deal, that was something I was not used to. So I had to tuck my ego on that one, you know, and, and learn how to talk to people and make that ask, resources are important.

JD Wooten: I've heard that story so many times from candidates. You know, especially anybody that comes from a successful background, either in business, academia, government, whatever it is, if you've had a successful background, and your background doesn't include something that is at least a little analogous, like maybe nonprofit board membership, you know, that's about the only other one where you're just like constantly dialing for the dollars. And it's a new and different skill, you know, and taking it out of the, I'm not asking for money for me. I'm asking money for the cause. 

Chuck Hubbard: That's correct. And it's time consuming as well, but I mean, let's be honest, no resources, no campaign. That's how it works. 

JD Wooten: Money is not the most important thing in politics, but all the important things cost money. 

Chuck Hubbard: Correct. I like that, that's fantastic. 

JD Wooten: Feel free to borrow it. I don't think I invented it. But cat's out of the bag, we know why you're here. You're here to defeat Virginia Foxx. You're running for the 5th Congressional District. Before we get to your opponent or even the issues, given the near constant changes we've seen in the district maps lately, let's start there. Can you remind everybody what area is the current Fifth District?

Chuck Hubbard: Particularly in Guilford County, that's been a struggle for folks. When they gerrymandered and they cut everything up, there had to had to have been some intention there to cause so confusion about where people are and, you know, who their candidate is, who they're supporting, all that kind of stuff. And I'm talking about when I say people, I mean, Democrats and unaffiliated voters, right? And what they did in that was they removed all of Greensboro and put it in the 5th district where it had never been before, to my knowledge. And you know, which is, is a shock for people there, really. You know, they're used to being in the 6th district for the most part. 

JD Wooten: Absolutely. And you're totally right, the record is very clear. They went and took Guilford County and said, hey, Guilford County, if it's all together is almost certainly a Democratic district.

Chuck Hubbard: Yes.

JD Wooten: But if we cut Guilford County into three pieces, kind of like pieces of pie, and it's at the center and then add it to all these red leaning areas to the outside, we get rid of that Democratic district and create three Republican leaning districts around it. And that's not to say that those other districts don't have a chance like yours, and we've got to fight like hell to make sure that we win them, but the district that covers all of Guilford, they weren't willing to just concede that maybe a county that's overwhelmingly Democratic should be represented by a Democrat. And so that was 100 deliberate, in what they did. 

So I'm really curious what made you decide. This is the year. This is the race. This is the time to take on Virginia Foxx and do our best to send her into retirement. 

Chuck Hubbard: Well, her behavior, of course, has become, shall we say, increasingly erratic, you know, and harsh and I can't see a thing in the world she's doing for this, this district. So that was certainly was one thing, you know. She'd always been a backbencher, all these years. And then with, with prominent Republicans resigning in disgust and she gets promoted to the chairmanship of the House Education and Workforce Committee and, and uses that perch, which is a powerful perch to take money and authority away from public schools. Well, of course, naturally, that fired me up right there. I often ask when I go speak somewhere, how many people in here have benefited from public schools. Well, of course, everybody's hand in the room goes up, you know. And I said, well, this lady is taking power and money away from your public schools, trying to undercut them, you know, and that doesn't sit well with people.

JD Wooten: Absolutely, and rightly so. And I think that, democracy and the inflation economy are probably the two kind of buckets that at least at the moment seem to be top of mind for voters. And we're just talking about the democracy stuff. I think some of that kind of ties to the political theater that we've seen a little bit and maybe taking some of that out and and its impact on democracy. So you want to speak a little more to that?

Chuck Hubbard: I hate political theater. I don't have time for that I don't have any desire for that. You know, I just want to go there and do our job, you know, good lord Congress has been dysfunctional for so long and I'm talking about for decades, you know, and we're gonna have to have enough Democrats in the House, enough Democrats in the Senate and together with that and President Biden in the White House, we can get some things done. One of my concerns, and has been my concern for a long time, is that there's a shrinking middle class, you know, and the growing roles of the impoverished, right? You know, and, and then at the money at, at the top, the money has been damned up and new billionaires are created and other billionaires get richer, right? That's supply side economics at its very best or worst, however you want to see it, you know. But we have to do the things that expand the middle class and allow a path out of poverty. Other than that, the American dream is, is really dead, right? You know, the American dream is simply about parents working really hard and raising their kids, probably in public school and, and their kids have been, have the opportunity to, to do better than the parents and then so forth to the grandchildren and so on, you know, we need to ensure that that, that continues, you know, and, and I'm dedicated to that, you know.

JD Wooten: Oh, absolutely. That certainly hits on a theme that I've heard plenty of people echo in the not too distant past of trickle down economics my ass. Clearly that didn't quite work the way it was promised.

Chuck Hubbard: Well, it is a trickle, isn't it? You know, I mean but George H.W. Bush and you know, I didn't like his his method of shall we say politicking, his nastiness directed toward Dukakis. But, you know, of course politics is a contact sport, but regardless of that, you know, I agreed with him when he told Ronald Reagan, that's voodoo economics. 

JD Wooten: Yeah, it turns out he wasn't wrong on that. 

Chuck Hubbard: Well, it always sets us up for another disaster, you know? 

JD Wooten: It does, absolutely. So let's stick with the economy then, because like I said earlier, that's the other side of this. And I know that one of your campaign priorities is to find ways to prioritize working families and small businesses. You were just talking about lifting people out of poverty. What are some of the ways that you want to be focusing on, on helping prioritize the working families and small businesses? 

Chuck Hubbard: One of the biggest things that I can talk about is entrepreneurialism. When a small bit, you know, approximately, I think it's, it's maybe 50 percent now, but I think it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 47 to 45 percent of people are, are employed by small businesses, right? So when a small business does well in the United States and then employs people and pays people a good working wage, a living wage then kind of a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, those that that lifts the entire community. So when somebody becomes a, a plumber and hires other plumbers to work with him, you know, and they do well. So we need to use whatever we can, you know, federally to, to support that. 

Community colleges are a big deal. You know, Wilkes Community College in our area, for example, you know, we lost a lot of manufacturing in the, in the nineties and into the 2000s. And, and what they did was they retrained, you know, jobs are coming back, but it's not unskilled labor a lot of times. It's you've got to go to a community college and get this training, but then you get into a, you can get into a pretty good job, you know, and, and I would support, you know, money and resources going to community colleges. Not everybody's going to go to a four year school. But you can also go to a community college and learn how to work in building construction, for example, and open your own company and eventually make a lot of money. You know what I mean? That's, that happens all the time. So that's a big deal for me. I think a steady growth is what we saw during the Obama administration, and I think that's probably the healthiest growth. 

JD Wooten: So you've got a dream world, your first day in Congress. What's the first thing that you either introduce or sign on to?

Chuck Hubbard: First day in Congress and we have all but two Republicans in the House of Representatives. How about that? That's a dream world for a Democrat. But my first priority in, and this isn't a dream. This is just a reality. It's something we have to do. We have to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Beyond the fact that it was just tragic that the Supreme Court overturned that, you know, but they, they didn't rule abortion was unconstitutional per se. They just washed their hands like Pontius Pilate and threw it downstream to the states, setting up once again red and blue areas. You know, not, not a healthy situation, particularly for women, but also, you know, in these states, you know, that like North Carolina going to 12 weeks, a 12 week abortion ban, you know, and I'll guarantee you that what's on their agenda is a complete and absolute ban on abortion in North Carolina like it has been done in other states. 

But regardless, they kicked off about 50 percent of the population, give or take. I'm talking about women, you know, and there's a political term for that, a professional political term for that. It's called stupidity, you know, and, and, I mean, women are going to punish them. We need to go ahead and codify that into federal law. It's up to a woman, and between her and her doctor, what she does. And that that would be my first priority for sure.

And then we're talking about a dream world here, so I'm very much in favor of a public choice in health insurance. Now, Obamacare is, is one of the greatest advances we've had in healthcare in decades, of course, and, you know, in a long, long, long time. But they ripped the guts out of it. You know, they let the pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare companies come in and lobby. They scared a bunch of politicians in Congress and they were willing to drop that notion of having, you know, you can call it universal healthcare, whatever you want to, but it's a public choice. You take, you get on the public plan, or if you're so situated, you keep your private insurance. And it will work. We can use a sliding scale to, to, to fund it. You know, if you make X amount well, anybody making below that doesn't have to pay anything. Anybody, you know, sliding on up this is, this will work. And if anybody says, any pharmaceutical companies say that we can't afford it, or hospitals say we can't afford it, they're lying. We can, you know, it's just how we do it. Do we have the commitment to do it, you know? Those would be my two dreams. Heck if we got that done I'd call it job won I can come home. So I think that's a, it's a big deal. 

And thirdly one of the biggest things that I advocate for is LGBTQ and minority communities, you know? And I've told the story many times, my daughter Meredith and her wife live in Omaha, Nebraska. And Meredith, she's a speech language pathologist with a master's from Western Carolina and an undergraduate degree at UNCG. And she and, and Rachel are very good community members in Omaha, Nebraska, helping children. And Rachel's a firefighter. So the day after Donald Trump was elected, Meredith called me, my sweet daughter, whom I love so dearly, called me crying, saying I'm going to be discriminated against, Dad. The door's open now for me to be abused. You know, and I told her the things that dads do tell. I said, honey, I said I'll live through Vietnam. We've lived through the Reagan years, which for Democrats weren't so hot, you know in, in various financial crises we've had, wars, and we've always come out on the other side, this is going to work out.

But I didn't know if I was lying to my daughter. I didn't know that we'd survived Trump. And he ended up being worse than I thought. And for God's sake, they're thinking about putting him back in the White House for four more years. I'm getting a little off course here, but protection of, of the LGBTQ community from abuses and our minority communities from abuses including the restriction of their votes, their ability to vote, where they vote. This is crucial.

JD Wooten: So let me turn to the most important question of the day then. Where can people go to learn more about you and your campaign? 

Chuck Hubbard: Go to It's all there. We have a list of where we'll be for events. We try to keep that up to date and information about me and our act blue link, let's don't forget that, but they can find out a lot from me there and, and, and gosh, you know if I'm at an event in your county, come see me. I want to meet as many people as possible. The more hands I shake, the more people I meet in person, I think that the more our, campaigns are all about momentum, you know, we've got some momentum right now and we're building on it, but I want to keep that going, you know, and that requires me getting out in the community and being energetic, you know, and doing the things we have to do.

JD Wooten: I can vouch for and echo all of that. Community events are where you and I first crossed paths. I've seen it so many and I look forward to seeing you again at quite a few more. I'm sure in the many months we have left until election day. So best of luck. And it was a pleasure having you with us here today. Thank you so much. 

Chuck Hubbard: Thank you so much.

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JD Wooten: Thanks again to everyone for listening today. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, send me an email at And as always, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and share this episode with a friend. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone!


Interview with Chuck Hubbard
Closing Notes