On February 5th, Blue Ridge Public Radio held a forum in its studios with the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the North Carolina state senate seat for district 49, which covers central and western Buncombe County. Democrat Terry Van Duyn currently holds the seat, but is vacating it to run for lieutenant governor in 2020. Republican Bob Penland is running for his party’s nomination unopposed. His opponent in the fall will be either Julie Mayfield, Ben Scales, or Travis Smith. Early voting for the primary election in North Carolina runs until February 29th. Those who have not registered to vote yet will only be able to do so during the early voting period. The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot is February 25th, and primary day is Tuesday March 3rd. And remember, voters do not need to show photo ID to vote in the primary election.
TIME CODES FOR QUESTIONS AT FORUM
1:06 - Opening statements
7:34 - If elected, you will be headed to Raleigh during a time of extreme partisan gridlock. How will you navigate that, what do you think you can accomplish as a state senator?
12:39 - In your role as a state senator, what changes would you seek to how the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority awards revenue raised by the county occupancy tax?
17:34 - What would be the first piece of legislation you would introduce as a state senator?
22:07 - The 49th Senate District is home to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), which is the federal government's climate science office. It reported 2019 was the hottest year on record in North Carolina. What measures do you support or would you support at the state level to combat the effects of climate change?
27:20 - Since the last election, Mission Health was sold to a for-profit company, causing a lot of anxiety around healthcare in Buncombe County and all of Western North Carolina. What changes and measures do you support to ensure access to healthcare?
31:57 - What do you think is the biggest infrastructure need is in the 49th district?
35:56 - What changes if any do you support at the state level around gun laws and the prevention of mass shootings?
40:06 - Closing statements