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Brunswick Democrats ask Soles to withdraw bills

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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- Sen. R.C. Soles introduced three new bills in the past week. Bills to split the 13th judicial district in two, create a new superior court judge in Brunswick County and lower the pension requirements for district attorneys and judges. Thursday night, the Brunswick County Democratic Party asked the senator to withdraw all of them.

"I had a lot of people talking to me and telling me how upset they were about the legislation and how they felt that it should be withdrawn," said Brunswick County Democratic Party Chair Donna Silva.

Silva called a special meeting to discuss the bills. Soles's plan to split the district has Democrats concerned. If Democrat Butch Pope wins the November election, the bill recommends the governor appoint a candidate of the opposite party to Brunswick County.

"When you have ideas, you need to come up with good explanations of why you need to do this," said David Redwine, a Democrat running to fill Soles seat when his term expires. "And then you need to build consensus among your constituents in terms of where do we go from here. And a lot of that hasn't been done."

Democrats are also worried a new judge's seat and changes to the pension funds would directly benefit Soles's long time friend and current DA Rex Gore.

"It's kind of like ooh that awful politics as usual," said Southport Precinct Chair Jenna Fontaine. "That awful back-room, gotch-ya, old boy network stuff. So we don't feel that it has a place here in Brunswick County, and we want to make that clear."

There wasn't much discussion. Brunswick County Democrats voted unanimously to approve the resolution and ask Sen. Soles to withdraw all three bills from consideration.

Silva e-mailed Soles asking him to attend the meeting to explain his reasoning for the bills, but because of the passing of his father R.C. Soles Sr., the senator could not attend. The party held a moment of silence in his memory.

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