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By the time this goes to print we will be about six weeks away from election day, Tuesday, November 6th. We are moving into the last leg, where at least locally people begin to campaign in earnest. Though we have a high-profile national election for the presidency, the winners of our own county races will make significant impacts on our daily lives. Their decisions will affect our air and water quality, job creation on state and local levels, future of agriculture and fishing, funding for education, our continuous burgeoning film industry and the hope of a U.S. manufacturing renaissance in NC.

In an effort to help readers get to know the candidates individually, there are a number of candidate forums around the bend. Please, try to visit at least one. More importantly, when given the opportunity to submit questions, ask realistic and important ones about the positions of the people seeking to shape our future. We are sending out our own candidate questionnaires and hope to bring readers more detailed info in the coming weeks as we do every election year.

So, in honor of your national civic duty, think critically. Ask yourself what issues will affect you, your children’s and your neighbor’s futures most. Above all, go vote on November 6th!

Here is a short list of opportunities to meet the candidates, interact with them, and compare their positions and platforms.

Cape Fear Economic Development Council’s Candidate Forum on Economic Development
9/25, 6:30-8 p.m.
WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front St.
Economic development represents one of the key issues in this year’s race for three seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Hosted by the Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC), the event is part of the organization’s bimonthly “CFEDC Presents” series. Folks can hear the candidates’ ideas on what they would do to improve the county’s economic health.

“We think having a civic, big-tent discussion of economic development in this region is exactly the right thing to do now,” Ian Oeschger, CFEDC vice chair, says, “particularly given how partisan political discussion has become, and how important it is for our whole region to come together on our economic identity.”

Candidates invited to participate include the six contenders: Jonathan Barfield Jr. (Democrat), Beth Dawson (Republican), Derrick G. Hickey (Republican), Robert C. Murray (Democrat), Woody White (Republican) and Robert Zapple (Democrat). WHQR News Director Rachel Lewis Hilburn will moderate. Questions will come from Tricia Vance, editorial page editor at the StarNews, and Vicky Janowski, editor of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

The public is invited to attend and participate. Questions may be submitted in advance (info@capefearedc.org) or at the event. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. during a time for networking and open discussion.

League of Women Voters and WECT Candidate Forums
10/3, 9 and 17 (time listed is “early evening” as of press; updates, www.bettergov.nc.lwvnet.org)
Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters and WECT-TV, anchor Jon Evans will moderate each forum. Each date features a different set of candidates, including New Hanover County Commissioners and the New Hanover County Board of Education, the state house and senate seats, and the 7th District Congressional race. Details will be available on the website, as well as on the League of Women Voters page on Facebook. The first one will be held at the New Hanover County Senior Center off Shipyard and College, while the second takes place at the Northeast Branch of the New Hanover Public Library off Military Cutoff Road.

Power Breakfast: NC’s Next Leader
10/3: 7:30 a.m. breakfast; 8:15 a.m. program
Wilmington Convention Center • 515 Nutt St.
$35/seat or $350/table of 10
Both the Democratic and Republican candidates for North Carolina governor will speak at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal-sponsored  “Power Breakfast Series.” “This will be a great opportunity for voters in the Wilmington region to hear directly from both candidates before North Carolina selects its next governor on November 6th,” Rob Kaiser, publisher of GWBJ, says.
The Democratic candidate, Lt. Governor Walter Dalton, and the Republican candidate, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (pictured; courtesy of Greater Wilmington Business Journal) will give remarks and answer audience questions. More information and event registration is at www.WilmingtonPowerBreakfast.com.

Cape Fear Green Building Alliance Candidates Forum
10/10, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The Balcony at Dock • 33 S. Front St.
On October 10th, the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance will host a local candidates forum, including NC Senate District 9, NC House Districts 18, 19, and 20, and New Hanover County Commissioners. Candidates will have the opportunity to address the audience with a short prepared remark, as well as respond to specific questions from the moderator about sustainability and green building issues. Participants include Deb Butler (D) and Thom Goolsby (R), Susi Hamilton (D) and Louis Harmati (R), Ted Davis Jr. (R) and Emilie Swearingen (D), Rick Catlin (R) and Tom Gale (D), along with Jonathan Barfield Jr. (D), Beth Dawson (R), Robert Murray (D) and Rob Zapple (D). The event is free, open to the public and takes place downtown Wilmington at 33. S. Front Street in The Balcony at Dock, above YoSake.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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