For the past two years, the main headlines out of the General Assembly have mostly been on petty partisan squabbles. It’s all been about closed-door budget meetings and judicial maneuvering.

What we haven’t seen? Big, substantive debates on how North Carolina should adapt to the modern economy, or how the state should boost struggling rural counties.

Don’t blame the media, though.

“I can tell you from being in the building, that conversation isn’t even happening,” Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat, says on the latest episode of the Longleaf Podcast.

If it does come up, “it’s on the periphery, where it should be a core subject,” Sen. Jackson says. “You should know what we’re talking about there.”

We caught up with Sen. Jackson while he was on the road to one of his three dozen campaign stops around the state between now and Election Day. As the leader of the state Democratic Party’s efforts to break the Republican majority in the General Assembly, he’s become a regular at meet-and-greets and fundraisers across North Carolina.

Some other highlights from the podcast:

  • Reaction to President Trump will have an “overwhelming” impact on General Assembly races.
  • The electorate is in general “much angrier” than in previous years.
  • As the millennial generation ages into politics, we’re seeing them reject “phony” politicians in favor of people who speak from the heart.

You can listen to the podcast on the player below, or find it on your podcast platform of choice.

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