The five candidates running for New Hanover County Commission had the microphone Thursday night. They went head-to-head at a candidate’s forum in Carolina Beach, co-sponsored by WWAY. Three of the five men will be elected to the New Hanover County Commission in November. They tackled questions from the public and panelists, including Newschannel 3's Kevin Wuzzardo. Republican Ted Davis said, "When you vote for somebody, you need to vote for somebody you can put your faith and your trust into - make the decisions that you have talked about, because that's why you elect individuals." Republican Bill Kopp added, "Sure we make mistakes, but last time I checked, you and I are both human beings and I'm going to do the best that I can to represent you as well as every other citizen in this county." Wilmington City Council member, Jason Thompson, is looking to make the jump to County Commission. “I've looked around the room and there's been, at times, two or three hundred people in colored shirts. I knew what they were there for, but I didn't think that it was right for the other 198,000 people - and I had to look them in the eye, like I'm going to look at you, and say I'm sorry I don't agree and the way you get to voice your displeasure with that is on Election Day," Thompson said. There were some new faces at the forum as well. "I will work to increase the amount of workforce housing so those who work here can afford to live here. I'm talking about teachers, firefighters, sheriff's deputies," said Democrat Jonathan Barfield. "We need to look at ways to help small businesses by reducing the tax burden so that small businesses can hire new workers and pay their current employees a higher salary," added Libertarian Brian Berger. The audience’s reaction was mixed. Robert Smith attended the forum and said, "The usual political promises of what they're going to do for everybody, which is a little dismaying to me. I'd like to hear them say what they're going to do to save the tax payers money." "I was pleased to hear some new ideas and people mentioning some changes of some things this county does need,” said Nano Scott. The last portion of the forum was devoted to candidates for the District 9 State Senate seat, currently held by Democrat Julia Boseman. She declined the offer to attend last night so her Republican challenger, Michael Lee, spoke to the audience and took questions.
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