Getting to know Wake’s County Commissioner candidates

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During the past week Record reporter Will Huntsberry set about interviewing all of Wake county’s candidates for county commissioner.

The county commissioner’s seats are divided into districts, but each district race, which features two candidates, is county-wide. Thus, Wake citizens will have the opportunity to vote in all four county commissioner races. As candidate Jack Nichols pointed out, “Wake County is bigger than a congressional district and seven different states.”

Currently, the board is controlled by a 4-3 Democratic majority. And with all three Republican seats up for grabs, the potential for a fully Democratic board is real, something which Democratic incumbent Lindy Brown worries about.

The main issues in this year’s election are stimulating job growth, education, transportation planning, infrastructure and mental health care. As the interviews testify, education and stimulating job growth are issues with thick partisan disagreements, while mental health care is an issue that seems to baffle all alike.

Last year’s municipal and board of education election saw an 11-percent voter turn-out. The board of education’s directional crisis over the past year could bring more people to the polls this time around, despite the fact that the board of commissioners only controls about a quarter of the education budget. These interviews examine the candidate’s positions on critical issues and in some cases attempt to shed a little light on their personalities.

District 1

Challenger Democrat Don Mial

Incumbent Republican Joe Bryan

District 2

Incumbent Democrat Lindy Brown

Challenger Republican Phil Matthews

District 3

Incumbent Republican Tony Gurley

Challenger Democrat Steve Rao

District 7

Challenger Democrat Jack Nichols

Incumbent Republican Paul Coble

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