Candidate Talk:  William Brisson

By Rhonda Griffin

Editor's note:  BladenOnline believes the voters should know their candidates in order to make a fair and solid decision at the polls. We would like to offer the opportunity to all upcoming candidates to share information about themselves and the issues they feel strongly about with our readers. To schedule an interview, call Rhonda Griffin at 549-4649.

N.C. House District 22's Democratic incumbent William Brisson is heading off his campaign for re-election with one simple concept – he has, and will continue, to keep his promises to the people. Dublin native Brisson is being challenged on the November ballot by Republican candidate John Szoka.

And though Brisson sat down recently at the Bladen County Courthouse dressed in a suit and tie to chat with BladenOnline, that is not at all his normal attire. Aside from working in Raleigh for the people of District 22, Brisson puts in a lot of hours on the tractor and the combine. In fact, Brisson is the only full-time farmer currently serving in the legislature.

But even though he loves working the 1,600 acres in Bladen County that he farms with his brother, Brisson said, “It's all about the people. It has always been about the people. It's not about William Brisson. “If so, I'd probably be staying home and playing golf,” he said with a laugh.

Even though he is pretty well known around this neck of the woods, here's a few things you may not know about William Brisson:

His background:
Brisson's political career began when he was elected to the Bladen County Board of Commissioners, where he served eight years representing the people of District 2, and also served on the Bladen County Hospital Board of Trustees. He held positions of both vice-chair and chair of each board, along with serving in various other capacities throughout the community.

“I believe my background in learning county government and how it operates helped me with my win,” Brisson said. “I've seen people come in with no political background and it's tough.”

With an understanding of the challenges faced by farmers and small businesses, he was appointed as the vice-chair of the House Agriculture Committee where he has the ability to “make the voices of farmers heard on over-regulation, the need for better understanding between agencies and farmers, and the special needs of today's agricultural counties.”

Brisson has also worked hard for education and Medicaid issues, he said, and is the chair of the committee for Mental Health Reform, and a member of the committees on Appropriations, Transportation and Wildlife Resources, along with the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the House Select Committee on Coyote Nuisance Removal.

What he stands for:
Brisson's platform is simple – he continues to stand for the same thing now as he did in his 2006 election:  The people. He pledges to be open, accessible and visible to the people to meet with them and take the time to listen. He also holds the same stance on working for the people of his district with issues on education, mental health, Medicaid, agriculture and small business. “I know the constituents and I know their needs,” Brisson said. “I give an honest answer to their questions. It may not be what they want to hear, but I'm honest.”

The demands of the job he holds for District 22 in Raleigh may be tough at times, but Brisson said he enjoys every minute of it. “It's the closest thing to a full-time job I've ever had,” he said with a laugh, “but I love it! As long as the people want me up there (in Raleigh), I'll stay.”

For more information about Brisson for the N.C. House District 22 seat, visit

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