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State Senate District 8 Candidates Debate Experience Vs. Fresh Start

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(left) Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick County; (right) Ernie Ward (D-Brunswick County)

North Carolina Senate District 8 includes Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender Counties – as well as a very small segment of western New Hanover County.  Republican Incumbent Bill Rabon and his Democratic Challenger Ernie Ward came together Thursday morning at a Power Breakfast, sponsored by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, to debate the merits of experience versus a fresh start.  

Rabon, a veterinarian from Brunswick County running for his third term, says his record speaks for itself.

"We have worked on education reform, regulation reform, transportation or infrastructure reform, tax reform -- which is a big one -- and energy. Those are the five spokes of the wheel that make the businesses turn. And while we’re talking about business, I will tell you that I have the highest rating in the North Carolina Senate—at 96%, along with Senator Gunn—as being the most business-friendly senator in North Carolina."

Democratic Challenger Ernie Ward, also a veterinarian in Brunswick County, called into question Rabon’s success in attracting business to southeastern North Carolina.  

"We talk about being business friendly and corporate friendly. We’re going to talk about all of the jobs and the opportunities missed since 2010, including losing Continental Tire twice. Now, I like to fish. I’m a big fisherman. I lose the fish one, I check the hook, make sure it’s okay. I lose the fish twice? I change lures, I change fishing rods. Heck, I might even go someplace else. How can we continue on this course of losing, losing, losing?"

The deadline to register to vote is Friday, October 10th.  Early voting begins October 23rd.  This year, voters can no longer register and vote on the same day.