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WHQR is producing profiles of the candidates running for New Hanover County Commissioner in the May 2012 Primary.

NHC Commissioner Candidate Profile: Beth Dawson

Beth Dawson is an 11th-generation North Carolinian who grew up in High Point, married a local boy, and moved here more than 26 years ago. 

As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, the Republican Candidate for New Hanover County Commissioner credits her 20-plus years as a banker with her ability to promote a pro-business environment in the area. 

Jobs and the economy – that’s the most important issue facing the citizens of New Hanover County according to Beth Dawson.  So how would she grow the economy? A good place to start, says Dawson, would be to create a dialogue among county, city, and beach town leaders.  She says there’s a pronounced lack of communication now.  And her business experience has taught her that companies aren’t just looking at quality of life issues, education, and cultural offerings when considering a move.    

“They also look at the governing boards to see if there are leaders there that will to listen to their concerns and be able to communicate opportunities that may be available.”

Dawson says her recent appointment to the Southeastern North Carolina Economic Regional Development Commission and her service on the Boards of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the Cape Fear Museum are what make her stand out from her opponents.  And when she talks about whether a cement plant should operate in Castle Hayne, she emphasizes she would never want to do anything to harm the environment or local air quality. 

“I definitely would want, at this point, to encourage the regulatory agencies to do their job and to do what they need to do to approve or to not approve… it’s going to be up to them as to whether or not permits are issued.   I believe that we need to let the experts do their job.”

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.