Tip O’Neill, Speaker U.S. House 1977-1987: “All politics is local.”

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Oct. 5 forum alternative to Trump – Hillary mudslinging

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ELIZABETH CITY – This much-anticipated Candidate Forum is set for Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pasquotank County Courthouse. The Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Daily Advance, and the County Compass newspaper have joined forces to produce the event. Originally, two forums were planned — one by the County Compass and the Chamber, and the other by the Daily Advance — but consolidating the sessions offers the candidates a wider audience.

State Sen. Bill Cook, the incumbent, is a Republican from Beaufort County, being challenged by Democrat Brownie Futrell, also from Beaufort County. Cook is a retired Electric Company executive who served one term in the State House before being elected to the State Senate. Futrell is the former publisher of the Washington Daily News.


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In the NC House contest, incumbent Bob Steinburg, a Republican from Chowan County, is running against Sam Davis, a Democrat from Pasquotank County. Steinburg is a retired salesman and is known locally for a Conservative Column, which was printed in numerous papers around the state. Davis is a self-employed real estate broker who has run for office previously, including an unsuccessful challenge to the re-election of Mayor Joe Peel of Elizabeth City.

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Current Pasquotank County Commissioners Frankie Meads and Lloyd Griffin are running unopposed. Both will offer opening and closing statements, but will not answer questions.

Democrat Jeff Dixon, who is an incumbent on the Pasquotank County Commission, faces opposition for his at-large seat from newcomer Sean Lavin, a non-affiliated candidate who obtained nearly 1100 citizen signatures in order to become qualified to file for election. Dixon is the President of City Beverage, a Budweiser distributor, while Lavin is a supervisor at T Com, the blimp manufacturer in Pasquotank County.

Candidates for the Camden Board of Commissioners are Ross Munro, a Republican; and, Samuel Shaw, a Democrat. Munro is a newcomer while Shaw has had a previous unsuccessful run for public office. Munro is retired Navy with 31 years service and now works as a program manager for a defense contractor. Mr. Shaw is the Pastor of the New Sawyer’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church.

The questioning will first be directed to the Senate candidates, then to the House candidates and finally to the Commissioners. In each instance, the incumbent will receive the first question and the challenger the second, then they will alternate for additional questions. After the first candidate replies, the other candidate will have the opportunity to respond.

After each grouping, questions from the audience will be provided. Audience questions will be in writing and reviewed jointly by Mike Goodman and John Woodard before being asked of the candidate.

The forum moderator is Mark Maland, a retired attorney, with the law firm of Hornthal, Riley, Ellis and Maland. A resident of the Pasquotank County area for a long time, Maland has served in this capacity in past forums and is known to be fair and impartial.

Questions will be on issues of taxation, wind energy, business development and HB2, among others. There has been considerable thought in developing the questions — an effort to engage the candidates in matters of importance on a wide range of topics.

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