Candidates for General Assembly face off in debates - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Candidates for General Assembly face off in latest round of debates

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Debate hosted by WHQR Debate hosted by WHQR

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Candidates running for the North Carolina State House of Representatives squared off Thursday night at a debate hosted by WHQR.

Our Ashlea Kosikowski was a panelist at tonight's forum.

In race for the House District 19 seat, Representative Ted Davis, Jr. (R-New Hanover County) and Councilwoman Emilie Swearingen (D- Kure Beach) responded to questions on topics ranging from coastal insurance rates to plans for beach nourishment.

Swearingen recently traveled to Raleigh to fight a proposed increase to homeowners' insurance rates, which could have coastal residents paying 30% more.

Swearingen said she would continue to fight the proposed rate increase if elected.

Davis said he would recommend reforms to the rate bureau, making sure that the model used to determine rates would use historical data from the state.

Kosikowski also asked the candidates about compensation for victims of the state's eugenics program, which forcibly sterilized thousands of people from 1933 and 1974.

In a new report released Thursday, the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation confirmed an increase in the number of verified victim, bringing the new tally to 186 individuals in 61 counties. 168 of those victims are still alive.

Swearingen said she supports efforts to compensate victims.

Davis wouldn't commit on supporting or opposing compensation.

In the race for the District 20 seat in the house, both Commissioner Rick Catlin (R-New Hanover County) and Tom Gale (D) said they support compensating the victims.

In terms of the film incentive program, Kosikowski asked the candidates if they would support continuing the program, which has been credited for attracting several movies and TV shows to New Hanover County.

Davis and Swearingen, both say they strongly support the incentives.

Gale supports the incentives but Catlin said he has issues with providing tax incentives to an industry in order for that industry to compete in the market.

Part of the 20th district includes Figure Eight Island. On the use of terminal groins at there, Gale is against the plan, saying it will damage the environment and lead to the need for more man-made structures along the coast; Catlin supports it, saying it will protect homes on the island and won't damage the inlet.

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