Two candidates are facing off in the Republican primary for District 17, which represents most of Brunswick County in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Marion Davis is challenging incumbent Frank Iler, who has represented the District since 2009.
Davis says his political involvement includes:
• Past State Chairman of Telecommunications Education Committee Organization (TECO)
• Past Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC) Board Member (served as VP for ten years)
• Past Carolina Cooperative Council Board Member
• Past President Carolina Virginias Telephone Association
• Past Varmantown Town Council.
"I would like to represent the citizens of Brunswick County, not just the special interest groups," explained Davis when asked why he was running for office.
Iler feels he's worked to create jobs and support the economic growth of the area. He also feels more needs to continue to be done in both of those areas. Iler, supports film incentives, and feels they are an asset to the greater economy and community.
"We had a good system at one time. We competed with Georgia, Texas and other states very successfully. We've now reduced that system to a grant system," said Iler. "I don't think that's adequate but it's better than nothing. I think We need the film jobs, it's like another company coming here with 4,00 jobs."
If re-elected Iler says transportation and teacher pay are his top priorities.
"Better schools and better roads are good for better jobs," Iler explained.
We asked both candidates what they believe the greatest needs of the community are:
ILER: "Schools, roads and jobs, I think that would be the big three. This area we have coastal issues, the dredging we've tried to
increase the dredging funds and we have. We hope to also increase funds for beach renoursihment because that's out industry. Tourism is our biggest
industry in this county."
DAVIS: "We really need roads bad, specifically the Southport area, because if you go to Southport, anytime you go, it is congested at the entrance to Oak Island, there is so much congestion there. The traffic is just deplorable. This is something we really need to do."
Davis also believes District 17 needs to be able to offer more incentives to bring new industries to the area. He feels too often employment opportunities are lost to South Carolina.
"So many of our children that graduate from school, go on to college, but they can't come back to Brunswick County and work because their jobs are not here," explained Davis. "We need to provide jobs for our young people."