North Carolina Senate District 8 includes the whole of Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender Counties. But this year, there’s another piece added to the district – a very small slice of New Hanover County’s northernmost part.
Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) has held the seat for five terms. He first won a seat in 2010, the same year the Republicans gained a majority in the General Assembly. His predecessor, Democratic Senator R.C. Soles, had held the seat for 17 terms starting in 1976. In 2012, when Bill Rabon ran for reelection the first time, he beat his opponent by nearly 20 points. Two years later, he won again by 14 points. In 2016, he ran unopposed, and in 2018, he won his seat once again by about 20 points.
He has not responded this year to multiple requests for interviews.
David Sink grew up in North Carolina and worked for 31 years in the state’s Community College System. He served as president of two colleges: Roanoke Chowan and Blue Ridge. He also served in the U.S. Army as a Combat Engineer during the Vietnam era. He recently opened a Meineke Car Care Center in the town of Leland, where he is also a member of the Leland Area Rotary Club. He is a participant and leader in the Boy Scouts of America and has achieved Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow, and Wood Badge. In his spare time, he says he plays the piano, reads about American history, visits major league baseball stadiums with his son, recently sold his Harley Davidson Bad Boy after traveling to 48 states riding it, and enjoys texting with his grandchildren.
Editor's Note: A federal judge ruled on the treatment of absentee ballots after this interview was recorded. The new ruling allows voters to correct minor problems with an absentee ballot without starting the balloting process from the beginning. However, if the ballot is missing a witness signature, the voter will be reissued a new ballot.
Early voting in North Carolina started Thursday, October 15th, which means people can register and vote at the same time until October 31st at 3 PM. UNCW students who live on campus can also vote at one-stop sites if they bring their student id, and have proof from the registrar’s office of their enrollment status. One-stop sites will also have lists of enrolled students.
Amid a pandemic, concerns about ballot fraud, multiple lawsuits over North Carolina ballot requirements, absentee voting and whether it’s safe to vote in person.