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Name: Janet Cowell
Town of residence: Raleigh
Political office sought: State Treasurer
Political affiliation: Democrat
Candidate website address: Cowellfortreasurer.com
Profession: Currently serving as State Treasurer
Bachelor of Arts. University of Pennsylvania
Masters of Business Administration. Wharton School of Business
Masters in International Studies. Lauder Institute
Family information: Single
Organizations or affiliations:
Board member, Wharton Executive Education School of Business
Board member, Rex Hospital Endowment
Raleigh City Council. 2001-2005
North Carolina State Senate. 2005-2009
State Treasurer. 2009 to present
Why are you running for office?
The past four years have been a time of economic turbulence and significant political change in North Carolina. The office of State Treasurer underpins the economic stability of our state. Addressing the important issues we face requires two steady hands on the wheel and the determination to steer us through these turbulent waters.
I am running for a second term as Treasurer because I want to provide that element of continuity and stability by continuing the work I started in my first term: maintaining our state's strong record of sound financial management, doing all in my power to improve our state's economy, and providing outstanding customer service to our citizens.
What do you believe are the top three issues?
There are many. My top three are:
Protecting the State's AAA bond rating. During my time as Treasurer I have maintained North Carolina's traditionally conservative approach to debt management. Doing so has meant guarding against proposals and legislation that would negatively affect it - things such as short term fixes to solve our state's budget problems, putting off debt payments or depleting the state's rainy day fund. I have urged local municipalities to be thoughtful about how they use federal stimulus money and I have consistently supported a more reliable tax structure aimed at stabilizing North Carolina's finances and maintaining the state's competitiveness.
Protecting the public employee pension system and state health plan. As Treasurer I have sought to make prudent risk adjusted investments and I have been a strong advocate for a secure retirement for both public employees and all citizens of our state. Since assuming oversight of the state employee health plan I have worked to improve transparency and ensure sound financial management. I am especially proud of the fact that North Carolina's public pension system is ranked as one of the best funded and most financially sound plans in the country.
Creating jobs and improving our state's economy. In order to accomplish these goals I created the $230 million "innovation fund" to support and make investments in businesses with significant operations in the state while still earning a solid rate of return for the pension fund. I firmly believe that North Carolina is a great investment and as we look globally for opportunities to achieve a high rate of return for our pensioners we need to be diligent in looking into the possibilities that are in our own back yard.