Candidates try to win more votes at Power Breakfast


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A packed house as candidates, who want to be our voices locally, in Raleigh and in Washington spoke to an early morning crowd at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Series breakfast.

The candidates for New Hanover Commissioners include former state Senator Julia Boesman, Eric Lytle, Commissioner Skip Watkins, and Commissioner Rob Zapple. The candidates for North Carolina Senate include former Wilmington Mayor Harper Peterson and incumbent Michael Lee. The candidates for U.S. House of Representatives include Kyle Horton and incumbent David Rouzer.

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Each candidate got the opportunity to discuss their platform. Each talk was then followed by questions directly from attendees. Questions related to jobs, education, drinking water, GenX and infrastructure were raised.

But, one main concern for voters was what steps these potential leaders want to take to move forward from Hurricane Florence.

Wilmington resident Rob Smaton asked North Carolina Senate candidates if they support rebuilding the rainy day fund.

“I think Harper tiptoed around it a little bit,” said Smaton. “He focused a little bit more on what he would actually spend the money on. Michael, I think because of his experience being up in Raleigh and being involved in the process, had a better understanding of what the process is to build the rainy day fund.”

There was a significant monetary need across the state to support victims of Florence.

“I find it very important that we restock the rainy day because of how much it has been diminished this year,” said Smaton.

Another issue raised was affordable housing. One voter wanted to know what local and state leaders are planning to do to provide more affordable options in New Hanover County.

“They’re politicians so they’re not going to give you the answers that I was looking for,” said Wilmington resident Caylan McKay. “…what i was looking for is what exactly they are going to do on a state level to affect affordable housing. The state legislature hamstrung our cities and counties ability to enforce some affordable housing laws.”

But, after listening to each of the candidates, McKay says now he’s more confident on casting his ballot on November 6.

“I think i have a better idea of who i am going to vote for after coming out today,” he said.

The event ended with Congressman David Rouzer and Candidate Kyle Horton speaking on how they will bring our biggest local issues directly to Washington, DC.