ONLINE UPDATE: Candidates weigh in on issues

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Opinions on issues like film incentives, gay marriage, medical marijuana and public teacher pay were aired by republican and democratic candidates from District 7, 8 and 9 at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear on Wednesday, April 16.

The republican candidates for the District 9 Senate seat, Michael Lee, Justin LaNasa and Michael Burns, shared similar views on each of the nine questions they were asked about government in North Carolina. Their views were directly the opposite those of District 8 Senate candidates Danny Hefner and Ernie Ward in every instance with the exception of the issues of medical marijuana, teacher salaries, coal ash management and beach renourishment.

Both sides agreed that medical marijuana should be legal in North Carolina if the proper safety checks are put in place; both supported the increase of public school teacher salaries; both agreed Duke Energy should be responsible for he cleanup of coal ash waste; and both said they would support increased state funding for beach renourishment projects.

One issue the two sides were at odds on was if North Carolina should recognized same sex couples married in other states where it is legal.

Republican candidate Michael Lee said recognizing same sex marriages in North Carolina would be opposed to what voters in the state want.

“To recognize gay marriages from another state would fly in the face of what the voters have spoken for in this state,” Lee said.

Hefner, a democratic candidate, said not recognizing same sex marriages formed in other states would be unconstitutional, citing the full faith and credit clause in the Constitution of the United Sates.

The last segment of the candidate forum featured United States House of Representative Candidates Jonathan Barfield and Walter Martin Jr. The two candidates answered questions about strategies to reduce the national debt crises, the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, military de-escalation, minimum wage, Edward Snowden and national security.

Both candidates said they support the Affordable Care Act, did not support Common Core teaching standards, consider Edward Snowden a traitor and support the need for more funding for the Port of Wilmington.

Stay tuned for the full story, out in Lumina News on Thursday, April 23.


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