Arp runs as fiscal conservative, wants to reduce size of government
After 12 years serving on the Union County Board of Education, Dean Arp was looking for a new challange. The longtime school board chair announced his candidacy Tuesday, Nov. 22 for the District 69 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.
“I had been really thinking about how best I can serve my community in other ways,” Arp said. “I considered running in the last election, and I’ve had many people approach me about doing it. I just feel its time to move on.”
Until this year, it was almost impossible for a Republican to win the District 69 seat. Redistricting, however, changed that, turning the demographics in District 69 from 61 percent registered Democratic voters to 69 percent registered Republicans. The new district starts in Wingate and then follows U.S. 74 through Monroe, Indian Trail and Stallings to the Mecklenburg County line.
Current District 69 Rep. Frank McGuirt was appointed to finish the term of fellow Democrat Pryor Gibson, who left to become an advisor to Gov. Bev Perdue.
“I think my values, my beliefs align more with the voters than Frank,” Arp said. “I’m a fiscal conservative. I try to be very deliberate in my approach, very fair, but at the same time, my philosophy is first do no harm.”
The Monroe resident, who also serves as president of Arp Engineering, a professional and structural engineering firm, said he feels state government had grown too large over the years.
“I want to reduce the size of government,” Arp said. “In tough times, people have to focus on whats important, the core needs like schools and step back from the other areas we don’t need to be involved in.”
Arp used the school district as an example, pointing out that despite budget cuts, Union County currently ranks number one among the state’s fifteen largest systems. The district also is fifth in graduation rates among all 115 school systems, while maintaining the third lowest cost per graduating student in North Carolina.
“We’ve had to adjust, we’ve made cuts, but I don’t believe you create a good system by throwing money at it,” Arp said. “We’re one of the top performing districts at the lowest cost.”
Official filing for the 2012 elections starts Feb. 13, at noon.