In the race for N.C. House District 115, which covers a wide swath of eastern Buncombe County, from Fairview to Black Mountain and north to Weaverville, Republican Nathan Ramsey and Democrat Susan Wilson faced off over a variety of issues at an Oct. 15 forum. Held at the Black Mountain Library, the forum was organized by the Asheville-Buncombe League of Women Voters and sponsored by several media outlets, including Xpress.
Video of the candidates opening statements, including Ramsey’s confrontation over mailers sent out by the Common Sense Matters group that criticize him over education spending.:
As the forum continued, here’s a few of the different views expressed by Ramsey and Wilson:
On voter ID laws
• Ramsey said he supports “reasonable ID laws” and maintained that “voter fraud has happened for generations in the mountains.” However, he said he also supports early voting and same day registration to help encourage voter participation.
• Wilson said she doesn’t support ID laws, declaring that the “only reason to support them is for voter suppression.”
On supporting efforts to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allows for unlimited spending by corporations and special interest groups to influence elections
• Wilson said she would support the effort because “the cost of elections is out of control.”
• Ramsey was unclear on the matter, cautioning that “We’ve got to protect our 1st amendment right,” but adding that “we need to have transparency and full disclosure.”
On ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, which aims to affirm that women and men have equal rights under the law
• Ramsey said he was “willing to look in to supporting” it, but maintained that the the 14th amendment already provides sufficient protections.
• Wilson said she would “definitely support it.” The 14th amendment “does not cover women,” she maintained, adding: “groups of men should not be making decisions for women.”
On school funding
• Ramsey said there’s “always a need for more funding,” but added that he also thinks there are ways to “trim fat” from the university system and the community college system.
• Wilson blamed “severe cuts” for a lack of needed supplies in the classroom and said teachers shouldn’t be put in a position where they have to hold their own fundraisers in order to buy the things they need to teach students. The state needs to allocate more money for education, she said.