"A Closer Look" - White seeks to go from Commission to Congress - WNCN: News, Weather

"A Closer Look" - White seeks to go from Commission to Congress

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Woody White, currently the Chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners, is running for a seat in Congress Woody White, currently the Chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners, is running for a seat in Congress

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – As the political season winds its way toward the end of the first phase of the 2014 elections, Woody White seems to be entrenched in the second phase of his political career. White, who is the Chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners, is running for the Republican nomination in Seventh Congressional District race.  He won the county seat in 2012, after several years away from the political scene.  He formerly chaired the New Hanover County Republican party from 1997-2001, served as a delegate to former President George Bush and filled an unexpired term in the state Senate in 2004, before losing the election for a full term later that same year.

White admits balancing family life, his law practice, commissioner duties and a congressional campaign is a challenge. "We're finding a lot of opportunities to be together on the campaign trail," he said. "The campaign is going tremendous, it's bringing us together and involving my kids in a lot of the issues of the day, which is important and a great teaching moment.  We believe we are in this for the right reasons, and we believe we are going to make a difference so it makes the time management problems very much worth it because the sacrifices we're making are going to make a difference, we're going to win this campaign and bring a new, fresh voice to Washington, DC."

White believes his experience as a county commissioner is one of the biggest advantages he has over the two opponents in the GOP primary.  "As a county commissioner, we're the lowest guy on the food chain of government," White says.  "We look up to Raleigh, look up to Washington, and they stuff unfunded mandates down on us all the time. When I'm in Washington, the first question I'm going to ask is ‘folks, how does this impact the local government officials?  How does this impact school boards, county commissions, state legislatures?" 

White lists repealing President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act as one of his priorities, if he is elected as the next Congressman from the Seventh District.  "It is destroying two things:  job creation and the patient-doctor relationship," said White. "It was premised on the idea that you can keep your plan, and keep your doctor.  We now know that was false. It was meant initially to bring the uninsured and have them migrate to the rolls of the insured. That's not happening.  We have to repeal it and we have to start over."  

When asked if he favored an option such as the Patient Care Act introduced recently by Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and others, White was non-committal.  "A better option is a long-term solution that incentivizes healthy choices. We are going to have to make our citizens healthier, lower consumption of healthcare. That's long-term how we have a sustainable model," he said about the healthcare reform issue.

One issue that has brought some contentious exchanges in the primary campaign is illegal immigration. White has accused challenger David Rouzer of lobbying for amnesty for illegal immigrants while working in Washington, DC. White contends that since the federal government granted amnesty in 1986, it has led to an increased population of illegal immigrants currently in the United States. A solution, he says, won't happen overnight and must include a long-term commitment.  "We have to have an understanding of the problem first, and secure the border to stop the illegal immigration," said White.  "Then we have to expand guest worker programs. It's discriminatory to allow people who came into this country illegally to get to the front of the line in front of those who are standing in line to get here legally."

White calls the 2014 election a "critical juncture" for the country, and for the voters in the Seventh District, which is the reason he filed to run for Congress.  "We're going to pick a new congressman," he said.  "Mike McIntyre (incumbent representative) is retiring. Who is it going to be? What we ask folks to do is compare the records, take the time to read and research and learn. Email us and ask questions."

Click here to see Woody White's campaign website: http://bit.ly/PyoO0M

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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