RALEIGH – Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has named N.C. state Senator Andrew Brock (R-Davie) and N.C. state Representative Jason Saine (R-Lincolnton) to lead his North Carolina team. Both Republican legislators are among the under-40 set on Jones Street, with strong ties to the state Republican party.
Saine is in his third term in the House and Brock is in his seventh term in the Senate. Rubio is gaining steam among the younger General Assembly members who align with his views on taxes, family and foreign policy. Rubio is trailing in fourth place among North Carolina voters according to a poll released on Tuesday from Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling. Trump took first in the poll, with Dr. Ben Carson closing the gap in second place, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in third.
Rubio was on the short list as a running mate for 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, getting support from fellow-Floridian Jeb Bush among others. Rubio campaigned in Charlotte last week, speaking to crowds about his economic plan.
“Our job is to create an environment where the private sector can succeed. That means not having the most expensive tax code in the developed world. Not burying our economy in regulations,” Rubio said.
In addition to his foreign policy views and tax plan ideas, Rubio has been promoting his proposed family leave policy. It would offer a 25 percent non-refundable tax credit for businesses that voluntarily offer at least four weeks of paid family leave, limited to twelve weeks of leave and $4,000 per employee each year.
“As president, I will reform our government in a way that empowers our families to thrive in this new century, and a major component of this will be reforms to family leave policy,” he tells supporters.
North Carolina would move its presidential primary up to March 15 from May in legislation that passed the General Assembly among a flurry of bills debated in the last days of the session. The measure was passed in both chambers and combines all state primaries with the presidential primary. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the legislation Wednesday.