Roasted: Coffee with Jordan Bryngelson
House District 97 candidate Jordan Bryngelson sits down for coffee.
Jordan Bryngelson, running as a Republican for House District 97, which is currently represented by Democrat Rep. Patsy Knight, sat down with Patch and concerned voters Thursday at Coastal Coffee Roasters.
Coffee with the Candidates is 4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
The next Coffee with the Candidates is 4:30 p.m. May 24 at Coastal Coffee and features County Councilman Bill Hearn, running for reelection for county District 6.
Bryngelson's Republican opponent Ed Carter will sit down for coffee May 31.
Here is a recap of Thursday's conversation with Bryngelson:
Q: As someone involved with the state party, what are your thoughts on having about 200 candidates kicked off the ballot?
It's unfortunate they got kicked off because of a witch hunt. I understand the filing system. It clearly states you have to have proof, but it doesn't give an explanation of it. We're lucky we have people in Dorchester County that have been doing the filing system for along time. I'd think anyone doing anything with public scrutiny would not only want to dot the "i" but dot it a couple times. The filing process should be streamlined. Right now it's ridiculous and redundant. It's prohibitive.
Q: If you win your primary battle against Ed Carter, you will face incumbent Knight in the fall. Will winning depend on the recent redistricting in District 97?
Would I have run for the seat if it stayed the same? Yes. I almost ran last time, but I waited. I'm running now because I'm seeing a conservative movement and I felt like I could be a good voice for District 97.
Ed Carter will meet with voters for coffee
Q: Why are you a better choice than Knight?
Patsy and I have a good relationship. But I also don't think there's anything wrong with iron sharpening iron to create the best candidate. I'm the option for a generation of new leadership. She's not very active if you look at her voting and attendance record. I don't think being active means pushing a bunch of new legislation but you do need someone active and accessible. I've got a track record already of working with the people in the community. I'm in tune with the community and a good representative of the people in District 97. I have a daughter in school, a job and a young family.
Q: Many in your district will be affected by proposed rezoning for rural Dorchester County. What are your thoughts on this?
I totally get the idea of people's concerns. They are concerned it will change the value and use of property, and the taxes they have to pay. I live on 20 acres that's heir's property — like a lot of people in my district. It's a good idea for the county to have a plan but I think you have to be sympathetic to the people. Anybody is going to be afraid of anything they don't understand. I'm a sharp guy and I didn't understand it all the way. It's very overreaching of government to say this is what you can do with your property.
Q: Speaking of your property, your house entered foreclosure. Can you speak to that?
We got hurt by the economy big time. Our family business closed and I had to re-invent myself. We don't get stimulus money; we just had to work hard. What happened was we got behind because I lost my job. I called to make a payment and found out my home had entered the foreclosure process. I worked two jobs and my wife got a job, and we caught up on payments. We didn't lose the house. Our situation is not much different than a lot of people in my district. Knocking on doors, I often see at least three homes in one neighborhood that are bank-owned. I understand how close we came. It's the most humbling thing ever. In your mind, you have this stigma. I'm not a guy who doesn't want to pay my stuff. I had a good job and a bright future. I'm a better person with a better perspective than I was three years ago because of it, though.
Q: What are three goals if you win the seat?
One is jobs. It's important we try to get through some of the red tape to bring industry to District 97. Another is education, which directly relates to jobs and an educated workforce. We need to strengthen Dorchester County School District Four. And my third goal is not a legislative goal. That goal is to work with other representatives and within the delegation. I don't want to be divisive. We're all on the same team.
Q: What is your economic development strategy?
My opponent is very pro industrial park. I'm not a build-it-they-will-come guy. It's not bad but it's a waste of taxpayer money. You can't just cross your fingers and your toes and hope people will come. Boeing came because we cut red tape and removed regulations. That's the strategy we need. Government building stuff for private industry is wrong.
Q: Do you support term limits?
The founders set up an election cycle. If you want your representative out, vote him out. Longtime politicians can gain something in office with experience. I think you can be in government for a long time and not grow government. The problem is we have cruddy voter turnout. It's something we take for granted in this country.
Q: Do you support FairTax?
I'm a FairTax guy. I like that it's a simplified tax code. It's easy to understand and you don't need a CPA. I'm all for simplification. But FairTax is buried right now. It has more than 60 cosponsors. This election cycle, there's an opportunity to bring 35 new faces to Columbia and the opportunity to move FairTax forward. If the FairTax people push it and get the votes out, then we can move it forward.