John Ager, D-Fairview, has filed for re-election for N.C. House District 115.

“Last week,” Ager said in a Dec. 11 press release, “the Pew charitable trust announced that the shrinking American middle class dropped below 50 percent of all families. Wages are not keeping pace with the rising costs of food and housing. Poverty is growing, especially for children. And since 2010, the leadership in Raleigh has been giving tax breaks to the wealthy, while increasing sales taxes for the rest of us.”

North Carolina has lost its status an “the education state,” Ager said, because of “low pay and disrespect” given teachers by the state’s leaders.

“While our state’s investment in education is one of the lowest in the nation (47th), North Carolina’s commitment to its citizens continues to shrink in other areas as well,” he stated. State Highway Patrol troopers are having to take second jobs to make ends meet. The state has “one of the stingiest safety nets in the U.S.,” he said, and it has “lost billions of dollars by not expanding Medicaid for our most vulnerable citizens.”

Citing the Chemtronics site in Swannanoa and the CTS near Asheville, Ager said North Carolina has become “a paradise for polluters,” with leaky coal ash pits, fracking incentives and “business-friendly” regulators.

“It is time for North Carolina to reimagine the future,” he said. “That begins with an investment in our people. We must do everything we can to attract ... family-raising jobs to Buncombe County. My goal in Raleigh is to lead our government forward, not to throw rocks at it.”

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