WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We continue our series of candidate profiles. This week we're focusing on the 9th District state Senate race. Tonight we meet the man behind UNCW for more than a decade. Now Democrat Jim Leutze has his eyes on Raleigh.
Leutze grew up a Maryland farm boy. A football scholarship took him to Syracuse, which was his first step to his PhD. Leutze served in the Air Force later returning to acedemia as a professor, college president and most recently as chancellor at UNCW, a position he held until 2003. So with all this experience why go into politics now?
"I guess the question is more likely why shouldn't I run for Senate?," Leutze said. "I think I have the experience. I have the energy. I have the knowledge. I have the temperament, and temperament is an important thing. We're going to have to go to Raleigh and work on very difficult matters, and you have to have somebody who is used to working with groups, who is a consensus builder."
Leutze says he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and face issues head on. He looks forward to bringing our part of the state together, saying that issues in the Senate have become larger and complex.
"A lot of the problems we face, whether they be coastal problems, water problems or air problems, don't respect county lines. So I want to pull together a coalition of southeastern North Carolina representatives to work for a common good," Leutze said.
In his spare time Leutze is an avid outdoorsman. He also likes to dabble in the kitchen. All that aside Leutze says he's just eager to get in office.
"I've never run for political office. I've often been urged to run for political office, and never done it, but now is the time in my life I can do it," Leutze.
Leutze looks forward to wrapping up the campaign on a strong note. He hopes he and his opponent Republican Thom Goolsby can find time for at least one more debate.