FOREST CITY— In the race for State House District 112, Unaffiliated Ben Edwards and Republican David Rogers are vying for the seat that was formerly held by Republican Mike Hager. Hager resigned in August and Rogers was named as the Republican representative for the race. 


Why are you seeking this office?

Edwards: I am running because Rutherford County (the 112th District) deserves better. For too long, those who claim to represent us in the Legislature, instead, have represented themselves and special interests. With the help of the community, I obtained over 2,300 voters’ signatures to be placed on the ballot as an Independent. I want us all to work together to regain control of our own government.

Rogers: With the vacancy created by the previous representative (Hager), our district needed a replacement that shares the conservative values of this District.  The Republican Executive Committee knows me well and that I am a conservative who is truly representative of the majority of people in this area. They asked if I would be willing to serve the District and step into that role. My response was that I am humbled and deeply honored to have that opportunity to represent the area that I have loved so much for so long.


What experience/qualifications do you have for this position? 

Edwards: I currently am a Commissioner in Spindale. In my day job, I write and teach legislative language in building codes and standards. The actual words in bills are critical and we have seen what can happen when unqualified representatives put forward legislation they do not understand. I will do all I can to make government open and honest, bringing control back to the voters.

Rogers: My greatest experience that qualifies me for the position is that I have lived almost my entire life here and am truly representative of the conservative values of this area. I have run my own small business in this community for over 25 years. As the legislature is a lawmaking body, my Law Degree and my 25 years of experience as an attorney working with those laws helping individuals and families with their involvement with the law as well as my Juris Doctor. I also have a degree in Business Administration. I graduated from RS Central in 1983.


What are the greatest concerns facing this district? 

Edwards: Most often, I hear that folks want more jobs. Certainly we do need opportunities in the district, but a large part of the issue is offering people the training and support to take advantage of new jobs. We have many of these structures in place, but we can do better. Importantly, we need to re-learn how to work together, because our divisiveness is keeping us from being able to get good people into good jobs.

Rogers: The lack of permanent well paying jobs is the greatest concern of this district and also very important is protecting our conservative way of life in this community. The people of this area have no interest in laws that force us to accept the liberal ideals such as they have enacted in Charlotte and other areas like California.


What are your goals if elected? 

Edwards: I plan to break the cycle of corruption. There are so many issues that can not be addressed until our Legislature stops perpetuating the pay-to-play system. Of course, there are good people, good representatives, but our district has been hurt by politicians who are interested more in their careers than the people they claim to represent. As a new, Independent congressman, it will be an uphill battle to introduce legislation. It is critical that everyone knows what is going on in the General Assembly, so we can make sure our government is working for us.

Rogers: To make progress in the areas addressed in the question above (What are the greatest concerns facing this district?)


What changes would you like to see happen if you are elected?

Edwards: More than anything, I would like to see my win bring our community together. We don't have to tolerate divisive, partisan politics. When we stop fighting WITH each other and begin fighting FOR each other, we can do anything. Let's not wait for someone else to fix our problems; let's recognize that they are our responsibility and that we have the power to bring prosperity back.

Rogers: As well as what has been addressed above, I would like to see a voter ID requirement that passes the requirements of the federal courts. I would like to see more protections in place at a state level for our Second Amendment rights.  I would like to see even more improvements in teacher pay and our education system.