MONROE – Six of the 10 candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 9th District Congressional special election spoke at a candidate’s forum sponsored by the Sweet Union Republican Women.
About 150 people attended the forum March 26 at the Old Courthouse.
Below are excerpts of what the candidates said during their five-minute allotted speeches at the forum.
Experience: Former N.C. Senator District 35; former N.C. Representative; accountant.
“I want you to take the time to educate yourself about the candidates before you vote. This is not supposed to be a beauty contest. If it was a beauty contest, I wouldn’t enter. Who can do the most to protect our country? Look at what I have already done, and I bet that I have done something for everyone here, and a lot more than you can imagine.
“You can’t have a country if you don’t have borders. I have been talking about illegal immigration for years. I was there first. I understand the problems we are facing from when I was in the legislature. I am more afraid of our national debt that I am North Korea. If we let our schools teach that socialism is more acceptable than capitalism, it is not going to go well.”
Experience: Current N.C. Senator District 39; former N.C. Representative District 104; former member Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners; attorney.
“I have been serving you in the General Assembly since 2014. Dan McCready is wrong for our values, and he is wrong for our country. He is the wrong Dan. I am the right Dan. The difference between me and Dan McCready is, I will always tell you what I believe. You will never have a doubt. Dan McCready hides what he believes. We can’t allow him to represent the 9th District in the United States Congress.
“I am the conservative Dan. I have made conservative change, and I am making conservative change. I led on the Voter ID constitutional amendment and the tax cap amendment. I am doing that change now. You will never have to guess where I am. President Trump needs help, and he needs someone to take the fight to the other side.”
Experience: CEO real rstate company; best-selling author; and motivational speaker.
“We need people that are strong and courageous because that is what it is going to take to help President Trump and move forward his agenda. I would like to support (Trump) in those efforts. As a mom of two beautiful children, I am absolutely pro-life and I don’t apologize for that. As someone who learned to shoot at the age of 12 when my daddy took me out to learn how to shoot quail, I believe in supporting and protecting our ability to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government, and that is what the Second Amendment says.
“I would love to be part of the solution, and that is what I have done as a Realtor. I have sold over a 1,000 houses in the 9th. I sat across kitchen tables from people who were in all kinds of situations. I ask questions and I listen. Then I come up with ideas to help them find a solution that is good for them.’’
Experience: Current member Union County Board of Commissioners; owner of Take Aim Training Range.
“My parents were very young when I was born. They were teenagers. They were asked about an abortion and they didn’t do it. So, I have lived pro-life. I am just not a supporter of the Second Amendment, I have lived the Second Amendment.
“We have to have a candidate that can carry us through and beat McCready in September and not November. We have to have a candidate who can appeal to the whole district, I have lived throughout the district. We have taught people all over the state, and particularly in the 9th District, hunter safety. Those people have spent eight to 10 hours with us, they haven’t spent 10 minutes with us. We need someone that understands this district. Mark Harris won on constitutional values. I have the support of Mark Harris.”
Experience: Former member Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners; served in U.S. Marines for 11 years; risk manager for a global financial technology firm.
“This is about what we are facing as a nation. We have $22 trillion worth of national debt and no one seems to want to talk about it. I was talking about it a decade ago out here on the lawn during a Tea Party rally that I spoke at. We were talking about the national debt back then. It was $13, $14 trillion back then.
“We have a broken VA system, 22 veterans every day are committing suicide. That’s 22 of my brothers and sisters, 22 of your brothers and sisters, that are committing suicide because they are not getting the treatment that they need. That is unacceptable. We need to give these veterans the care that they have earned. We need to support our President and build the wall. We have an immigration problem, but we also have a human-trafficking problem. That is modern-day slavery and that is absolutely a national emergency.”
Experience: Former candidate for Charlotte mayor and North Carolina governor.
“I have 12 kids and I go hiking every morning at about 5:30. Yesterday, I went skeet shooting. You are about to hire me to support your congressional rights, your best interests. Let me know what your concerns are, what you want me to do. I don’t have any opinions or belief systems of my own. I make careful observations, research and measurements and then, if needed, decipher a corrective course of action that is in the best interest of everybody in N.C. 9.
“I spent the last 28 years in school. I’m still in school. I am a student. I have never stopped learning.”
Want to vote?
The general election, if the winner of the May 14 primary gets at least 30 percent of the vote, will be held Sept. 10. If no Republican in the crowded field meets that threshold, then the run-off will be held Sept. 10 with the general election being held Nov. 5. Dan McCready is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary on May 14.