ABCPOA Meet the Candidates Night is Oct. 17 at BCC

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Get ready to hear what the candidates have to say.

Oct. 17 is Meet the Candidates Night in Brunswick County.

That’s when the ABCPOA—Alliance of Brunswick County Property Owners Association—is offering voters a chance to tune in to candidates’ responses to questions on the issues less than a month before the Nov. 6 General Election.

The forum starts at 6 p.m. in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College. Jon Evans from WECT/Fox News will be moderator of this year’s forum.

“This is the fifth time we’ve done this show,” forum chairman Phil Sloat said.

Sloat said invitations to speak have been extended to candidates for U.S. House, N.C. House, N.C. Senate, N.C. Governor and Brunswick County commissioners.

As of this week, those who have accepted an invitation to participate include Dan Forest, Republican candidate for N.C. lieutenant governor. Democratic candidate Linda Coleman has declined.

David Rouzer, Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District, has also accepted an invitation to participate in the Oct. 17 forum. Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre won’t be there.

So far, the ABCPOA has received no response from either N.C. gubernatorial candidate—Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Republican candidate Pat McCrory.

Other candidates who have responded they will participate include N.C. Senate District 8 candidates Danny Hefner (D-Brunswick) and incumbent Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick); N.C. House candidates, District 17 Republic incumbent Frank Iler and Democratic challenger Lundia Washington; and District 18 Democratic incumbent Susi Hamilton of Wilmington and Republican challenger Louis Harmati of Winnabow.

Brunswick County District 4 Republican Commissioner Scott Phillips has accepted, while Democratic challenger Brenda Faye McMillian has declined.

District 5 county commission candidates, Democrat Michael Ballard and Republican Frank Williams, have both accepted.

Sloat said the forum would consist of two sessions consisting of a question-and-answer format prepared by the ABCPOA committee. As a candidate responds to a question, the opposing candidate will have a chance to respond.

ABCPOA is an alliance formed in 1999 as a forum for members of Ocean Ridge, Sea Trail and Brunswick and St. James plantations to address homeowner issues. It currently consists of 16 member POAs representing 14,000 property owners in Brunswick County.

“We have a lot of community involvement,” said Sloat, who serves on the POA board in Winding River. “We want to be a voice for the residents of Brunswick County.”

He said the alliance addresses issues going on in the county or state, particularly those they don’t feel are in the best interests of residents.

“It’s not just POA members—we’re talking about all residents,” he said. “We want to try to serve a need.”

Issues the ABCPOA has been involved in include “out of control” property insurance, the Business Alliance for Sound Economy and NCDOT issues.

“We stay in touch and hope to let them know our residents here in Brunswick County are paying attention to them,” Sloat said, adding members also stay involved by attending Brunswick County Commission meetings.

The Oct. 17 forum is co-sponsored by The Brunswick Beacon, The State Port Pilot and the Brunswick County, North Brunswick and Southport-Oak Island chambers of commerce.

WECT/FOX and ATMC Television will provide delayed broadcasts of the Oct. 17 forum.

If there is gubernatorial participation, WECT/FOX is prepared to live-stream the event.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.