04/11/12 — NAACP candidate forum held

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NAACP candidate forum held

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on April 11, 2012 1:46 PM

Thirteen people seeking public office spoke at a candidate forum Tuesday sponsored by the local branch of the NAACP.

The event was held at Rebuilding Broken Places.

The tone at the forum was relatively subdued as candidates all agreed that listening to their constituents would be their foremost duty if elected to office. Not all was congenial, however, as the candidates for Wayne County Register of Deeds got into a heated exchange at one point.

Following a question about illegal fast-tracking of foreclosures by mortgage companies, incumbent Lois Mooring said her department doesn't have the resources to deal with fraud cases and instead leaves that up to federal and state law enforcement. Her opponent, Constance Coram, said putting the forms online and communicating with other counties would help to cut down on fraud and said she would do whatever it took to make sure that documents were processed, scanned and returned within the state -mandated 30 days.

That was a point of contention between the two candidates, as Mrs. Mooring declared that the requirement was to have the documents turned around within three days. She and Ms. Coram exchanged brief words.

The statute says that instruments must be processed within 30 days of receipt. But Mrs. Mooring said it never takes that long in her office.

Discussions between the two candidates for a seat on the District 8 bench weren't very enlightening as each promised to be fair and impartial judges.

Ericka James, an assistant district attorney, suggested the increased use of mediation in criminal court and having more pleas discussed ahead of trials to cut down on time in court. She also suggested that her election would be a comfort to constituents, since of the six district court judges, only one is female and none are black. Ms. James is black.

"When you see someone on the bench who looks like you, you feel like you're part of the process," she said.

Mrs. Turik, who is white, insisted she would remain impartial, no matter what.

"I care about people as a whole, no matter their race or background," she said.

Incumbent Judge Lonnie Carraway was not present.

Two Goldsboro mayoral candidates spoke at the forum. D.A. Stuart said the main issue facing the city was the Phase 11 annexation ordeal while Henry Jinnette said the city needs to be more fiscally responsible. Stuart said the city should stop applying for grants which require local matches, instead going after state and federal funds that have no strings attached. The incumbent, Al King, was not present.

The Goldsboro City Council District 1 race pits incumbent Michael Headen against Kyle Pritchard. Pritchard said economic development in eastern North Carolina should be a legislative priority. Headen also emphasized economic development, especially through renovations of Union Station, which is in the district. He suggested the city should push to bring passenger rail back to Goldsboro, but also said he wants the city to do more for the school system.

Two candidates for the District 4 seat, Tondalayo Clark and Starr Whitmore, are both aiming to unseat incumbent Rev. Charles Williams. Both are employed in education and said they plan to help re-energize the youth in their district. Williams was not present.

Candidates for the District 3 seat on the council also spoke. Former council member William Goodman suggested that not enough projects were planned for his district, which he claimed was the poorest in Goldsboro. Ben Farlow suggested investments into recreational opportunities through the city would be beneficial to the district, especially through the possibility of a new W.A. Foster Recreation Center.

Darron Flowers, who is running for mayor of Fremont, called for the town to attract more residents to help boost its tax base.