Civic

Josh Remillard is Democrats’ Hopeful for District 117

Mills River – Josh Remillard is most outspoken on the environment, education and Medicaid expansion as the Democrats’ candidate for State House District 117 for northern Henderson County.

The Mills River resident beat Danae Aicher of Hendersonville in the Democratic primary March 3. He is on the Nov. 3 ballot against Republican Tim Moffitt.

Joshua Michael Remillard, 36, was an Army infantryman in 2006-14. He served two combat tours in Iraq. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for courage in combat, also the Warrior Leader’s Course and Advanced Leader’s Course awards. His grandfather was a foreign service officer.

Remillard believes “service to country is one of the most important sacrifices a citizen can make.” He notes “we have never had a veteran represent Henderson  County” in the State House. “Too often veterans — like many other hard-working families — fall through the cracks. Because representatives in Raleigh are too eager to appease their special interest donors.”

His B.A. is in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Washington. The bearded Goldsboro native grew up in Wilmington.

He infuses morality into politicking. “I’m passionate about social policy because it’s a field where quantitative research doesn’t have all of the answers,” he said when asked about social policy in a Ballotpedia survey of candidates. “It is an area that requires moral philosophical reasoning — in conjunction with analytics and data. Social policy is an area that is concerned with a person’s quality of life. Political actions, therefore, affect the well-being of the members of society.”

He concluded that “most importantly, though, since social policy deals with what is termed as ‘wicked problems,’ a representative cannot rely on numbers alone. Preventing a lack of awareness of the human toll requires that the representative meet face-to-face with people, to understand the impact of policy on them.”

Remillard works as a quality assurance specialist, for 350-acre Gaia Herbs organic herbal supplements farm in Mills River. He volunteers in Team Rubicon, an international natural disaster response group founded by two Marines in 2010. Josh and Rhiannon Remillard have two young daughters — Gwenevere and Eowyn.

In the Ballotpedia survey, Remillard lists his three main campaign messages as “improve educational outcomes, expand Medicaid, (and) safeguard our environment and agriculture.”

He expounded on those issues. “Access to a quality education for every child is essential to growing our economy, and helping Henderson County thrive,” he stated on his campaign website. “Better students develop into a better workforce. I believe that we owe it to our children and teachers to recommit to public schools. North Carolina is ranked among the lowest in the country regarding expenditures both for per-pupil and teacher pay. This needs to change. We have to raise teacher pay, provide incentives for new teachers, and expand broadband access to students and schools in rural areas.”

He pushes Medicaid expansion, for more people. “Many cannot afford their premiums and healthcare costs, resulting in a large section of the population being underinsured or uninsured. By expanding Medicaid, we can provide affordable health insurance to all of our citizens in North Carolina. Additionally, the creation of a competitive healthcare market would put the money back into the people’s pocket — instead of the wallets of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. When more people have access to healthcare, it becomes more affordable for everyone.”

On the environment, Remillard wants the state to better protect “some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. The agricultural and outdoor industries make up a significant portion of our state’s economy but are endangered by the corporations that have been allowed to pollute our waterways over the last decade without any repercussions…We must hold these companies accountable for the pollution they create so that we can preserve our natural resources.”

He advocates “creation of green jobs and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. This transition to cleaner, healthier and eventually cheaper energy sources will help to combat climate change while stimulating the economy.”

“Passionate, diligent and tenacious” are Remillard’s campaign code words. He quotes LBJ that “Yesterday is not ours to recover. But tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

Check joshremillard.com for more on him and his candidacy.