07/27/08 — Pate and Davis facing multiple issues as fall race begins

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Pate and Davis facing multiple issues as fall race begins

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 27, 2008 10:34 AM


Assistant News Editor

As Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis continues the campaign he has been running since October 2007 and state Rep. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, wraps up his legislative duties, both men are working to make sure that voters know where they stand on a myriad of issues.

And as they run to replace retiring state Sen. John Kerr in the District 12 seat, the candidates say that many voters are most concerned about the same issues -- primarily education and the economy.

"I think people are very much interested in public education, economic development and jobs and how they're all tied together. And that's what I want to do, tie them together," Pate said. "I can offer them the voice of economic development that will do good for the district, and I really haven't heard him (Davis) say anything on economic development."

But, Davis said he is more than aware of the current economic situation and the need to improve Wayne, Pitt and Green counties.

"I think residents are still very much concerned about the economy, and I want to make sure there is the opportunity for good-paying jobs," he said. "Residents also are concerned about the price of gas. And education continues to be a major issue. It's important that we continue to improve our schools.

"These are the nuts and bolts. Residents want to understand and have a clear path of how to provide for their families."

Other issues the pair are hearing a lot about on the campaign trail include offshore drilling, as well as -- a little closer to home -- the proposed, but failed, annexation moratorium.

In terms of the former, Pate said he is definitely in favor of "seeing what our potential is."

Davis on the other hand, isn't entirely on board.

"I'd be very interested in understanding more about offshore drilling, but so far, based on the information I have, it would only be temporary at best," he said. "Long-term, we still need to explore other alternatives."

Both, however, despite their time served as small-town mayors, were unequiviocably in favor of the moratorium, saying that while annexation is a necessary tool for growth, it's also an issue that needs to be studied and improved.