America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican.
Our member of the week is Representative David Rouzer of North Carolina’s 7th district.
Prior to his service in congress, Rep. Rouzer was a small business owner and an associate-administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was also a North Carolina Senator for a number of years.
1.) What inspired you to run for Congress?
I learned a long time ago that the opportunity we have in this country for each individual to develop their God-given talents and prosper is precious and unique, yet very fragile. If you take America off the world timeline, this is a very dark and evil world. I ran for Congress because America is the greatest force for good that mankind has ever known, and the principles that made our country great deserve to survive.
2.) What was your dream job growing up?
I always wanted to be a farmer, and in my heart of hearts I still do. My grandfather farmed so that was a major influence, and I’ve always been intrigued with how you can produce a product of value from the land. It’s one of God’s miracles right before our eyes — all enabled because of the sun, water and land.
3. ) What has surprised you most about life on Capitol Hill?
As a former staffer in the U.S. Senate, I knew a good bit about life on Capitol Hill before I was elected to the House. So I really can’t say that any one thing has surprised me. For sure, the House and Senate are very different as compared to my days as a staffer. Most of the members of real stature that walked the halls of Congress when I started on the Hill have either retired or passed. When they left, it seems to me that some of the culture of good-will and trust left with them.
4.) Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know that I have any “hidden” talent, but there was a time when I had a very good jump shot and could dunk a volleyball.
5. ) What is the last book you read that you simply could not put down until you finished?
I read multiple books at a time and so it is unusual for me to read one until I am finished. I get a little bored sticking with one book from cover to cover. However, there are two exceptions that I can remember: Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz and When Character Was King by Peggy Noonan. Those two books captured my attention completely.
6. ) Who is your biggest influence in your life?
This is a very hard question because there are so many who have had a major influence — including every member of my immediate family. For sure, both of my grandfathers were especially influential. In the political realm, Senator Jesse Helms and our longtime commissioner of agriculture in North Carolina, Jim Graham, were the two who influenced me the most personally and politically. I was very close to both of them and was a pallbearer for each, which is the highest honor I will ever receive. My relationship with Christ is certainly very influential as well.
7. ) When did you know you were a Republican?
I was always conservative in my beliefs growing up even before I ever knew anything about politics. In North Carolina, many Democrats in the eastern part of the state were (and are) as conservative or more so than Republicans in the central and western part of the state. My mother’s side of the family were registered Democrat and my father’s side of the family were registered Republican. So as an 18 year old, I wasn’t sure which side of the family to pick! When I went to one of the high school librarians to register to vote I was very much undecided. Seeking her advice on my dilemma, she stated that the Democrats were the party of the working class like “us” and the Republicans were the party of the rich. Not liking the canned response and the nature of her tone, I promptly checked Republican to her visible consternation. She asked, “Why did you check Republican?” I responded, “Because I plan to be rich.”
8. ) What is the most important–but under-reported—policy issue you work on?
I serve on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Production of our food and fiber is essential to not only America’s economy but to our ability to live. The transportation of goods and services across our country as well as internationally is critical as well. Neither subject gets much attention, but both are vital to the country.
9. ) Describe your ideal “day-off”.
It depends on where I am. If I am near the coast where I spend a lot of my time while in the district, I enjoy being on a boat enjoying the water, sunshine and good friends. If I am near our family farm, I enjoy checking out the crops and riding out to the ponds. And if it is cold and football season, watching a good college football game is about as good as it gets.
10. ) What is your most favorite meal that you like to cook?
I rarely cook, so I don’t know if it is even appropriate for me to answer! But, when I do, I like to grill pork chops.