COLUMBUS, BLADEN, and ROBESON COUNTIES (WECT) - One of the seats that changed the most after redistricting is District 46, which now mixes Columbus County and part of Bladen County with Robeson County.
Democrat Kenneth Waddell, the mayor of Chadbourn, is running against incumbent Gaston Pridgen, who's a Republican.
Columbus, Bladen, and Robeson Counties are all some of the poorest in the state, and both candidates have a lot to say on how they would bring in more jobs.
"First, we need to get the rail system up and running again in Columbus County," said Waddell. "Without the rail system, there is no business. We need to compete with Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina. South Carolina has a special commission, I think, that they use that's separate from the Legislature. It allows them to be able to move fast whenever a business comes in and wants to locate in that area. I think we need to take that as a model and try to tweak it some."
"We cannot be the most regulated, highest taxed state in the southeast and expect to compete with the other states," said Pridgen. "First thing we need to do is drop some of the regulations -- they're just killing jobs. We need to drop our tax rates to get down with the other ones."
Voters in Columbus County make up a majority of District 46.
However, Pridgen. who lives in Robeson County, says he doesn't believe his party threw him under the bus when they redid voting districts.
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