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Rep. George Holding met with a handful of insurance leaders Tuesday on a swing through Wilson County.
Holding expressed his support for the policies of President Donald Trump.
“If you look at Trump’s policies, and I am very supportive of what we have done in tax reform and what we have done in regulatory reform, these are historic,” Holding said. “Trump doesn’t necessarily express himself the way I express myself, so some of his behavior and personality I don’t agree with, but I certainly agree with his policies.”
Holding ordered sausage, scrambled eggs and a sausage gravy smothered biscuit as he sat with a small group of insurance agents and political leaders at Amy Jo’s Country Restaurant in Wilson.
Holding concerns immediately turned to Hurricane Florence.
“This is going to be a historic hurricane,” Holding said. “It looks like it is going to be as strong as Hazel and be the first Category 4 storm to hit North Carolina since the 1950s. Everybody needs to be very aware and follow all of the notices coming out of emergency management and be prepared. This is going to be a once-in-a-generation hurricane.”
Holding said high winds and rain will affect the crops that are still in the field.
“Riding up here today, there is a lot of tobacco still in the field and a lot of soybeans still in the field,” Holding said. “It’s definitely going to have an impact, but life comes first, so get family prepared. Get yourself prepared, and don’t take any chances trying to ride this thing out.”
Holding was in Wilson and Nash counties two weekends ago visiting with large tobacco producers.
“The Chinese have suspended purchases of tobacco up to 100 million pounds, and I was talking to him about what his plan is there. It’s a challenge,” Holding said. “Within the last 60 days I was at Alliance One looking at the new cut rag facility there, which is pretty amazing. I think it was a $15 million investment here in Wilson. Alliance One has some more plans to expand, so that was good to see.”
Holding said in the coming months, it is really important to tell folks what Congress has done.
“Tax reform has been a big deal,” Holding said. “If you look at the North Carolina economy post-tax reform, they have created 69,000 jobs. When you look at national GDP, we are up to 4.2, and unemployment is down at 3.9, so I think it is important to spread that message.
“It is also important to talk about some of the issues I think are facing us in the coming years in the next Congress,” Holding said. “The two that I think are first and foremost, one is the elimination of sanctuary cities throughout the United States and certainly not have them come here, and No. 2, I think that we have a historic opportunity in the next Congress to enact term limits.
Holding said he thinks it is going to be a tight mid-term election.
“Folks are motivated on both sides,” Holding said. “Turn out will be key, and we will see who shows up at the polls.”
Holding said the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a good thing.
“I have been supportive of it ever since I have been in Congress, and I am hopeful that we can make progress on that,” Holding said.
Alan Winstead, an agent with N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance and state secretary for the North Carolina Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said Holding comes to Wilson more than people realize.
“He has met with insurance agents and different things. He is very concerned about Wilson and Wilson County. He has even shown up at events unannounced,” Winstead said. “He is a good guy and does a good job for us and tries to take care of us in Wilson and Wilson County and North Carolina.”