Mayoral Candidates Face Off in Debate

Mayor Spence Broadhurst
Mayor Spence Broadhurst
Harper Peterson
Harper Peterson

SEPTEMBER 26, 2005 -- Election signs are popping up around Wilmington. This is just one sign that the candidates for mayor are putting their campaigns into full gear.

Mayor Spence Broadhurst has been in office for two years. He's running for re-election against the man he beat, Harper Peterson. Peterson held the city's top position for one term.

Both have experience running Wilmington, but that's where the similarity ends. The biggest dispute is over plans for a downtown convention center.

"The industry itself nationally is losing money and taxpayers are subsidizing convention centers. I think we'd subsidize this one," says Peterson.

Broadhurst says it's the right idea at the right time.

"If we can build a convention center with outside dollars then it can be an economic development generator to bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars."

Both candidates are also taking different approaches on their campaign. Broadhurst says he plans to spend more than $130,000 on television ads and signs.

"It shows the clear broad support from the community."

Peterson says he has just $5,000 and plans to go door to door.

"A lot of doors to knock on and people to contact. We're really excited," says Peterson.

Now voters have just two weeks to decide who should be mayor.

Reported by Maggie Alexander