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CoastLine Candidate Interviews: NC House District 16

Katelyn Freund

On this edition, our focus is on North Carolina House District 16 – which covers Pender County and about a portion of Columbus County, according to the newest maps. 

Chris Millis, a Republican from Pender County served three terms before resigning in September of 2017.  Bob Muller was appointed to serve out the term, but he declined to run this year – citing his age.  Carson Smith is the Republican nominee; John Johnson is the Democratic candidate.  We’ll meet both of them today – in alphabetical order.

John Johnson says he’s a native of Pender County.  He worked for AT&T for 30 years – after attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington – followed by The Citadel – where he earned his MBA.  Now retired, he has moved back to Burgaw.  This is first run at elected office.

Listen to John Johnson here.

Carson Smith is the Republican nominee.  He has served Pender County as Sheriff for 16 years – after first winning the seat in 2002.  But he’s worked in the public safety sector for more than three decades – as a volunteer for the local fire department and rescue squad, a sheriff’s office dispatcher, and as a deputy sheriff in Pender County.  He’s also worked for the Topsail Beach Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

He recently completed a term as President of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association.  

Listen to Carson Smith here.

Candidates for NC House 16:

Johnson Johnson, Democrat

Carson Smith Jr., Republican

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 2 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.