Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, is one of the legislature’s longest-serving members, having first been elected in 1988. She’s been a key figure on taxes, unemployment and many other issues, but she’s occasionally had public disagreements with House Speaker Tim Moore, who last year took away Howard’s position as chair of the House Finance Committee. She continues to represent Davie and portions of Rowan County and will likely get another term next year.
What are the current and past jobs you’ve held outside of politics? I’ve owned a real estate agency for the last 40 years, and also an appraisal arm and a property management section.
What lessons from those roles have you applied to your elected position? Ethics is a major principle for the real estate industry and I have always applied those principles to my legislative duties.
If you could enact a single piece of legislation into law today, what would it be? I have worked on many issues over the years, some signed into law, others still pending. Currently I have legislation that passed the House three different sessions, but lingers in Senate Rules, to bring the life insurance benefits for currently serving legislators in line with other state employees. We have lost several members over this time.
Where do you most enjoy taking an out-of-town visitor in your district? I have several. My favorite lunch places are Deano's Barbecue and Ketchie Creek Bakery.
What is your favorite hobby outside of work? Gardening, particularly flowers and plants.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about how to get legislation passed? Be patient, and don’t stop. It took 18 sessions to get a particular bill enacted.