New Hanover County GOP commission candidates discuss negative ads
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The race for three county commission seats has been competitive in New Hanover County since the beginning.
Commissioner Beth Dawson said an anonymous political action committee called the Conservative Future Fund Inc. based in Raleigh is personally attacking her through ads. Ads that say she has abandoned conservative values and she puts her interests above other conservatives.
“Running full page negative false attack ads against me personally. There is absolutely no reason to have such despicable political issues in New Hanover County,” said Dawson.
Dawson calls the group behind the ads ‘nameless faceless cowards’.
And she said she thinks Woody White, Patricia Kusek and Jim Brumit helped spark these types of negative ads when they came out in February as a group to respond to her State of the County Address.
“This year you’re paying more of your hard earned money in local taxes because of the deal she cut for herself,” White said in the response.
“The supporters of some of my opponents are stepping up and trying to target me,” said Dawson.
Derrick Hickey, a commission candidate, said he also believes they are behind negative ads about him.
“None of them have been able to engage on the issues instead they assault people, they engage in ad homonymy and personal attacks,” said Hickey.
Hickey said he plans on joining in on a complaint against the Conservative Future Fund. In a statement released Monday Conservative Future Fund has run negative ads against conservative candidates in other areas of the state. House Majority Leader Mike Hager (R) has filed a complaint with NC State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach, requesting that she begin requesting a criminal investigation of Conservative Future Fund through the Wake County District Attorney.
White and Brumit both disagree they say they are running a positive campaign about the issues.
“We’re very proud of the campaign we’ve run, we have stuck to the issues, and we’ve offered the voters a path forward and we’ve made a promise of what we are going to do when we win,” said White.
“I think Woody White, Patricia Kusek and I make a great team,” said Brumit. “When elected to the county commission we will be able to help one another along with Skip Watkins.”
Some commission candidates said they are concerned about what has gone on in this race.
“There’s so many news things that are coming out about this commission race that are petty,” said Commission Candidate Campbell Dodd. “When businesses are looking at our area the first thing that they are going to do is maybe look at the website and look at one of your interviews going on about this. It’s a detraction. They don’t want to have deal with local politics.”
“It’s been a back and forth issue. One side calling the other side names, and inferring poor integrity and poor decision making and it’s just unfortunate,” said Commission Candidate John Babb. “Our community is better than that.”
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