In 1995, Robert Thomas moved to Durham, North Carolina to work with his sister in the real estate appraisal business. As an Ohio native, Thomas worked in a factory until he was 28 years old and received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Ohio State University. Then, he attended law school and practiced family law, general practice, securities law and corporate law throughout his career.
For the Nov. 3 election, Thomas is running against the incumbent, David Price, to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 4th District. Thomas sat down with Technician to discuss his platform and other relevant issues.
Impacts of COVID-19
Many citizens living in the 4th District have lost their jobs as a consequence of COVID-19, Thomas said. If elected, Thomas said he will work to channel resources into the 4th District to provide training and education.
He plans to start a small business center where people can bring questions they have about starting a business, as well as offer guidance on filing paperwork and taxes.
Thomas also wants to bring businesses back from overseas, stating that moving a town or community’s primary employer has had a big impact on the 4th District in the past. Additionally, bringing back these jobs will benefit students, Thomas said, since many of them would be research jobs.
“I will make that my mission: To get businesses back here so that everybody who wants a job can have a job,” Thomas said.
Student loans and debt
According to Thomas, he would not have liked the person he would have become if he never attended a university. However, he stated that some people go to school without considering the applicability of the education they are receiving.
“What we need to do is, going forward, we need to have more realistic expectations about the kind of money a person can make with a college degree and try not to outspend that with regard to paying for college loan debts,” Thomas said.
According to Thomas, there may be some room for loan forgiveness; however, he believes that students should pay for what they receive and learn that there are bad consequences for bad decisions.
Diversity and minority communities
Thomas said he is a supporter of President Trump's initial immigration policy to build a wall on the southern border because he stated he is against human trafficking. He cited the immigration policy as “perfect” and added that a “big beautiful door” should be built into the wall.
According to Thomas, America needs workers when all other classes of American workers have been used up. He added that he wants to control the flow, not stop the flow of people from the southern border.
Additionally, Thomas said he believes that North Carolina is diverse and very welcoming to minorities, and he cannot imagine it being any more welcoming.
Climate change and environmental issues
According to Thomas, he is strong in science and stated the temperature of the earth fluctuates in harmony with Mars. While he doesn’t think that humans can have an impact on Mars, he does think the role of the sun has been largely overlooked in temperature swings and that is something to consider in regards to climate change.
Thomas is also in favor of breeder reactors based on thorium, a radioactive material that has fewer toxic byproducts, and will enable sun power with less pollution.
As a strong advocate of the Second Amendment, Thomas believes people should have guns to protect their home in case of a break-in.
However, with regards to avoiding gun-related tragedies on campuses, he cites the 2011 Norway massacres as an example of a gun-free zone putting a school at greater risk. According to Thomas, gun-free zones invite nuts and criminals.
Thomas is in favor of having enough safety patrols and officers in schools and on college campuses to oppose threats when they come along.
According to Thomas, college students do not need full insurance. They only need the bare minimum package that will cover catastrophic health problems, such as cancer.
“What we need is a cheap plan to cover you for that,” Thomas said. “All you need is something reasonable to fit your situation, but we don’t have that now.”
Thomas recalls being “invincible” when he was in college and never getting sick or hurt because he didn’t do “stupid” or “dangerous” things.
From his work as an appraiser in the 4th District area, Thomas said he knows the people, economies and businesses. With the exception of Franklin County, he said he won’t have to learn about the district.
Thomas stated that people who work with Price claim he is not a responsive person.
“And I want to be a better legislator than he is, a better representative, someone who listens to his constituents,” Thomas said.