U.S. House, Senate GOP candidates attend forum in Wilmington - WNCN: News, Weather

Candidates for Judge, state Senate and Congress address issues in Wilmington

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NC7 House candidates Chris Andrade, Woody White and David Rouzer attended a GOP forum Tuesday night in Wilmington NC7 House candidates Chris Andrade, Woody White and David Rouzer attended a GOP forum Tuesday night in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Candidates running for seats in both chambers of Congress met in Wilmington Tuesday night, just three weeks before primary election day in North Carolina.

The Lower Cape Fear Republican Women's Club brought together GOP candidates running for the Seventh District House seat held by Rep. Mike McIntyre, and the U.S. Senate seat which belongs to Sen. Kay Hagan.

All three of the House candidates, Chris Andrade, David Rouzer and Woody White, have been on stage together before in this campaign. But, unlike their first forum in Brunswick County, the candidates did not spar over each other's qualifications and previous positions in public service.

Andrade, Rouzer and White addressed issues such as illegal immigration, reducing the federal debt and what impact the federal government has had on education. The final question asked by club members was for all three men to state why they felt they are the best candidate for the job.

"I think I can go to Washington and lead," was Andrade's response, recalling his time spent in military service to his country.

"I have a lifelong history in this district, a family man, a business owner who understands the average struggles of the average American," said White, talking about being raised in Bladen County, settling down in Wilmington and starting his law practice in the city.

"I've worked on behalf of small businesses, entrepreneurs and our farmers," said Rouzer, relating to his time working in Washington for former Senators Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole. "I understand what it takes to get the job done and I'm well prepared to do it."

Four of the eight GOP candidates for U.S. Senate attended the forum, Ted Alexander, Greg Brannon, Mark Harris and Edward Kryn. They also answered questions from the Club members, along with some from the audience. Lowering the national debt, national security and the role of government were just some of the issues. Most echoed the idea of needing to come together as a party to win Hagan's seat in November.

"Kay Hagan incites religious fervor with everyone she comes in contact with, both Democrats and Republicans," said Alexander, drawing a laugh from the crowd in attendance. "Because at the mere mention of her name, the first thing out of everybody's mouth is a prayer, and it's ‘Oh Dear God, help us!"

"We've been going around the state for the last few months, being interviewed," Brannon said motioning to the other candidates in the front of the auditorium with him. "It's a complete honor! These are great guys. These are people who care about our country and our state. I believe I am more prepared. Nothing against them, but I believe I am more prepared."

Candidates running for District Court Judge in the 5th Prosecutorial District, Kent Harrell and Lindsay Luther, addressed the crowd to start the evening's events. They were followed by Mike Burns, Justin LaNasa and Michael Lee, the three GOP candidates running for the District 9 Senate seat currently held by Sen. Thom Goolsby.

Early voting begins April 24 and election day is May 6.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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