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Submitted by WWAY on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:56pm.

For weeks, state Senator Julia Boseman's personal issues have become very public. But, she says they are not a distraction to her work in Raleigh or her reelection campaign against Republican challenger Michael Lee. With the oft-aired TV ad, state Senator Julia Boseman took the unusual step of making her own personal life public in a campaign. "I just felt that it was important to get out in front of the issues," said Boseman. The personal turned public after testimony from her contentious child custody case last year with her ex Melissa Jarrell recently became public and continues to make news. Boseman says she is not worried about the ad backfiring. She also thanks her opponent, Wilmington commercial real estate attorney Michael Lee, for pledging not to make her personal life an issue in the campaign. Lee said the most important issues are dramatic education reforms, including cutting the state's dropout rate, and transportation and infrastructure issues, which includes the need for bridge repairs, and the state's continued bilking of a trust fund specifically for road projects. Meanwhile Boseman touts her record in the state senate, including recent accomplishments. "We've passed Jessica's Law. It's a 25-year mandatory minimum for sex offenders. I have film incentives package that was put in the budget that extends the film credit till 2014," said Boseman. But Lee says Jessica's Law is overdue, and more needs to be done to boost the economy. "We really do need to not only help our economy through creating more jobs, but we really need to help our small businesses and individuals with some tax relief," said Lee. There are some things the candidates agree on. Both support a moratorium on forced annexation that failed to pass the state senate earlier this month, and they both think changes need to be made in the state's mental health care system. But while Boseman has tried to make the budget crisis at Southeastern Mental Health a big issue, Lee says the issue needs to be less politicized and focused more on the people it affects. While Michael Lee has pledged to avoid making Julia Boseman's personal issues part of the campaign unless they affect her ability to do her job, the state Republican Party has attacked Boseman on personal grounds. Lee said he has nothing to do with those attacks, and will consider asking the party to stop them.

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