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Mon October 30, 2006
18th House District Race: Building Roads
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – All this week WHQR is asking candidates in two state house races five questions on some of the most pressing issues facing North Carolina. Focusing on the 18th District House race, this hour WHQR asks the candidates about funding highway projects.
Republican Frankie Roberts stepped into the race with less than one hundred days to campaign after his wife stepped out of the race for personal reasons.
Roberts is a native of Wilmington who runs a non-profit that finds homes and jobs for ex-offenders.
When asked about how where the DOT is going to fill a $65-billion gap to fund road projects, Roberts says it's worth looking at tapping into the prison population as a way to save construction costs.
I think we need to use that as a method of job training to maybe utilize people we are already taking care of to be able to modify roads, even if we contract services out.
Democrat Thomas Wrights is the incumbent and also a native of Wilmington. He says lawmakers are taking steps toward replenishing the Highway Trust Fund and the state should be looking to Washington for help.
Congress has drastically reduced the amount of money we're getting in matching funds for transportation. That's deplorable, it is embarrassing, and I'm offended by it. North Carolina sends up a tremendous amount of money to Washington, and we need to get our share back.
The 18the House District represents portions of New Hanover and Pender Counties.