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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With early voting underway and Election Day right around the corner, we’ve been introducing your to the candidates for Wilmington City Council.

Incumbent Laura Padgett says her experience is an asset to the city and looks forward to continue to improve Wilmington.

Padgett has served on Wilmington City Council for four terms. She was born and raised in Louisville, KY, but has called Wilmington home for decades.

“I came here first in 1975 with my husband at the time, who had a job teaching at the university,” she said. “So I have lived in Wilmington basically 35-plus years, although I was gone a couple of years in the early ’80s pursuing a career.”

The retired financial advisor and stock broker says despite having been elected four times, her work is not over. Padgett wants to continue to see projects flourish like roads and parks.

“A lot of things run at a tortoise pace with government, so you start things, and we have ideas when we get elected, but it does take a long time for thing to come to fruition,” Padgett said.

Padgett says her years of experience on council is an asset, adding that her non-incumbent challengers may not realize what the job entails.

“It is kind of a hard job,” Padgett said. “People don’t realize the time and effort it takes, the volume of material you are responsible for. How many views points you really have to take into consideration before you make a decision that is going to affect everyone, sometimes affect many other people that you have not really heard from.”

Padgett has been part of some controversies during her tenure. Most recently her travel expenditures.

“There was a very good reason for each of those trips,” she said. “Number one City Council had approved a travel budget. The city manager and the city council through the travel budget allocation had not only approved the trips ahead of time but encouraged me to take them.”

Padgett says despite the bumps in the road her focus has always been on making Wilmington a better place for all. She says if the city continues to improve itself, soon everybody, including businesses will want to live and grow their companies here in the Port City.

“I would like to continue to contribute to Wilmington’s success, and I think I bring a lot of knowledge and experience about how we got where we are and how we might make things better,” Padgett said.

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