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Republican Candidates for 7th Congressional District talk issues during Wilmington Candidates' Forum

7th Congressional District Candidates' Forum
Inside the New Hanover County Courthouse

The three Republican candidates vying for the chance to face Representative Mike McIntyre in the November election spoke to a packed room inside the New Hanover County Courthouse Tuesday night. Ilario Pantano, Senator David Rouzer, and Randy Crow answered questions on issues ranging from tax reform to illegal immigration.  But as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, all three candidates cite their unique life experience as the fundamental reason they’re the best man for the job.      

David Rouzer says his tutelage under Jesse Helms means he wouldn’t waste time learning the ropes in Washington.  And his work in Raleigh to loosen government controls over corporations and individuals demonstrates a strong legislative record. 

“I led the fight to get rid of the red tape and rules and regulations and overreach by the state agencies – including annexation reform – where local governments, municipalities were overreaching and forcibly annexing communities that did not want to be annexed.  I helped lead the fight on de-annexation and annexation reform.”  

Ilario Pantano says his allegiance to his country is evident by his decision to leave what he calls a comfortable life.  He re-joined the Marines for a second tour of duty after  witnessing the September 11th attacks. 

“That was something I did not have to do.  I was already too old.  I had to fight to get waivers.  But I felt called to do that.  I felt that my country needed me.  I feel that my country needs me today.  Not Ilario Pantano.  But servants.  Our country needs patriots.  Our country needs people that are going to put the country first – not their agenda, not their reelection, not the lobbyist dollars.”

Randy Crow says his frequent childhood trips to Wilmington impressed upon him the importance of clean water – and why it’s the key to tourism, public health and safety, and a thriving retirement community.