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WHQR will host and broadcast four candidate forums as part of the 2012 Election Season in the MC Erny Gallery, 254 N. Front Street, #300.Each forum will feature two local journalists asking prepared questions during the first half of the event. The second portion will be dedicated to questions from voters. A live studio audience will be invited to ask questions during this segment. We'll also use questions sent in from listeners.If you have a question for the candidates, please email us (newsdirector@whqr.org) or submit via Twitter with the #whqrforums hash tag and tell us which slate of candidates you'd like to address. We reserve the right to edit the questions for clarity, brevity, and objectivity. Each question must be addressed to all candidates in a particular race. If you can't attend the live event, Tweet along while you tune in or listen or watch the webcast online at 7 PM each night to hear the candidates! (WWAY will also broadcast the forums live on Time Warner Cable. RTV is channel 106, on ATMC, channel 903, on Charter Cable, channel 145 and over-the-air at 3.2.)Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM- New Hanover County CommissionersJonathan Barfield (Current Vice Chairman)Beth DawsonRobert MurrayDr. Derrick HickeyWoody WhiteRob Zapple Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 PM- NC House District 18Representative Susi Hamilton (D)Louis Harmati (R) Monday, Oct. 8, 7 PM - NC Senate District 9Senator Thom Goolsby (R)Deb Butler (D) Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 PM - NC House District 19 & NC House District 20 NC House District 19Ted Davis, Jr. (Current NHC Commission Chair)Emilie Swearingen (Current Kure Beach Councilwoman)NC House District 20Rick Catlin (Current NHC Commissioner) (R)Tom Gale (D)

Gay Marriage Ban Passes by 61 Percent; squeaks by in NHC

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It was the sole issue in the May primary that would be decided before November.  North Carolina’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman spurred impressive primary turnout across the state.  And, as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, the amendment garnered 61 percent. 

Of the 100 counties in North Carolina, only seven counties produced majorities opposing the marriage amendment. Most of the counties in the WHQR listening area overwhelmingly supported the amendment – effectively slamming the door shut on gay marriage in the state.  But New Hanover County emerged as an outlier with a razor-thin margin.  Supporters of the amendment out-voted opponents by less than half a percentage point.  Not so in Brunswick, Pender, Columbus, and Robeson Counties – which posted much higher numbers supporting the amendment.  Columbus and Robeson were standouts in support of the gay marriage ban – boasting 85 and 86 percent, respectively.  The only counties in the state opposing the amendment:  Mecklenburg – which includes the city of Charlotte, the Raleigh-Durham area, and two mountain counties.