NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A total of 15 candidates are seeking their party’s nomination in the primary elections for three seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Nine candidates are running in the republican primary, and six are running in the democratic primary. The top-3 finishers in each primary will advance to the 2020 General Election in November.
All of the candidates agreed to be interviewed at WECT-TV, answering the same questions on a range of issues that includes public transportation, affordable housing, opioid addiction, economic growth, environment and the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Knight, 56, is retired after a career working in the nuclear energy industry. When asked what he considers the most important issue in New Hanover County right now, Knight cited the county’s infrastructure and the need to upgrade.
“What many people might not be aware of is, over the next twenty years or so, we’re expecting a fifty percent increase in the population here in New Hanover County,” he said. “So we need the infrastructure, we need the resources, we need the people in order to do that. The problem is, most of those resources, as in dollars, doesn’t actually come from New Hanover County. About eighty percent, give or take, comes from the state. The Department of Transportation for the state, for the most part, is shut down. They have a five billion dollar budget. They spent seven billion. If you do that, you get shut down. New Hanover County actually has about two billion dollars allocated to us over the next couple of decades to fix roads, bridges, and do those kinds of repairs. That money is on a piece of paper. But if (the DOT) is shut down because you’re overspending someplace else, we don’t get to access it.”
If you would like to hear Harry Knight’s response to questions on specific issues, you can go to the corresponding time in the interview listed below:
00:30 Candidate’s biography
01:30 Why he decided to run for office in 2020
02:45 Why he is best candidate in primary
04:25 What he considers the most important issue in New Hanover County
07:40 What is his vision for the next generation of WAVE Transit or public transportation?
09:15 What steps will he take to foster a better working relationship with city council?
11:00 Where does he stand on the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center?
13:05 Is there a circumstance where he could support a possible sale of NHRMC?
15:10 What should be done with county-owned area included in Project Grace?
16:55 What will his priorities be when deciding whether to support rezoning requests?
18:55 What role should the county play in addressing the affordable housing issue, and how?
19:55 What does the county need to do to make area more resistant to tropical systems?
21:05 Where should money from opioid lawsuit settlements go to help those battling addiction and needing treatment?
21:45 What types of jobs should be recruited to NHC and best way to do it?
23:25 Are the county and CFPUA doing enough to provide clean water and/or hold polluters accountable?
25:15 Does he think the county is doing enough to protect the tree canopy & greenspace?
25:45 Is there an instance where he could support a property tax increase?
26:35 What other issue of vital importance was not addressed in interview?
Early voting for the March primary elections begins on February 13, 2020. There are five locations in New Hanover County set up as one-stop early voting locations. To find the locations, along with the dates and hours the sites will be open, click here. Election day is March 3, 2020.