WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the first day of early voting behind us, Thursday night folks in New Hanover County got the chance to meet candidates for NC House Districts 19 and 20.
From fracking to film incentives to beach renourishment, all four nominees discussed several of our area’s hot topics tonight at the WHQR political forum in downtown Wilmington.
Both candidates for NC House District 19 Republican Rep. Ted Davis and his Democratic challenger Emilie Swearingen squared off. Among the topics discussed was the proposed 30 percent increase on homeowners insurance for coastal counties.
Both disagreed with the idea.
“We are treated unfairly and this is not the first time and I would definitely like to see that discrimination stop,” Swearingen says. “Our elders cannot afford this. Many of us, even if we live on the beach are not wealthy.”
Davis, who is temporarily filling the house seat until the election, had a specific idea in mind to deal with the issue.
“We need first in North Carolina to design a model that’s going to be used and specifically based on North Carolina historical data and specifically on North Carolina probability of hurricanes coming here,” Davis says.
Next in the political forum were nominees for the newly formed NC House District 20, Republican Rick Catlin and his Democratic opponent Tom Gale. Several environmental issues were brought up, including the contentious topic of fracking, the process of extracting natural gas through drilling.
Catlin, an environmental engineer in the Port City, is in favor of natural gas, but feels fracking would not happen in North Carolina for a while.
“I do not have a problem for North Carolina putting together a set of rules and regulations and controls for the ultimate date when we do use that and I think we’ve got plenty of time to do it,” Catlin says.
Gale had a different take.
“I think they have kind of rushed to push through legislation through currently,” Gale says. “Obviously in the other states that are doing it, there are reservations about not only the proprietary chemicals that they are pushing into our ground water and what those might be, I think we would need to disclose what those would be.”