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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — From education to transportation to fracking, the NC House District 18 candidates took part in a WHQR Public Radio forum Thursday evening.

Incumbent Democrat Rep. Susi Hamilton and her challenger Republican Louis Harmati, squared off to share their thoughts and ideas on how to make the Cape Fear area a better place to live and work.

“I challenged the status quo and I fought for legislation that would benefit all North Carolina citizens,” Rep. Hamilton, who is finishing up her first term in the House, said.

Harmati, has lived in the Cape Fear region for more than 25 years. He immigrated to the US from Hungary in 1956 and served in Vietnam.

“I think I have a better background than anybody running in this election,” Harmati says. “I’m not talking about my opponent. I’m talking about anybody. Any Democrat, any Republican, anybody.”

Among the topics discussed were film incentives and fracking, which Rep. Hamilton was criticized for after voting to override a veto by Gov. Bev Perdue of a fracking bill this summer.

“Can it be done safely nationally, and if it can, there will be a substantial potential for us to have energy independence in this country,” Hamilton said.

Incentives were a sticking point for Harmati, who touched on our area losing deals to Caterpillar and Continental Tire last year.

“I would like to find out why the legislature and the governor dropped the ball on that thing that was so critical to these people, especially to Brunswick County,” he said.

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