Candidate Profiles

WHQR endorses no candidates, but rather strives to provide a nonpartisan, issues-based presentation of the men and women vying to represent our listeners at state and federal levels. Candidates' responses within our Q&A-style profiles have not been edited. Bookmark this page to stay up-to-date on candidates in future elections. 

Senator Bill Rabon has represented North Carolina Senate District Eight since 2010--and he’s hoping to carry forth through another term. Rabon, a native of Columbus County and a current Southport veterinarian, recently told WHQR that he doesn’t want to stay in the Senate so long he wears out his welcome. However, the incumbent Republican says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished in terms of transportation and tax reform, and would like to see these matters—as well as initiatives related to job creation and education—through to completion.

Danny Hefner, the Ocean Isle Beach Democrat who lost 2012’s Senate District Eight race to incumbent Bill Rabon, has thrown his hat into the same ring again. A former Marine Corps officer and truck driver, Hefner now works as a local delivery driver, an inter-faith minister, and a therapeutic foster parent to abused and troubled children. The third-time Senate candidate recently sat down with WHQR to discuss his plans for a range of social issues—but first, Hefner says he plans to address the economy.

Ernie Ward

A second Brunswick County veterinarian is vying to represent the citizens of North Carolina’s Senate District Eight.  In fact, Democratic candidate Dr. Ernie Ward cites -- as a major impetus to run -- a January episode during which his district’s incumbent senator, fellow veterinarian Bill Rabon, rejected legislation to regulate commercial dog breeding. In addition to animal rights, this political newcomer—who is endorsed by the North Carolina Association of Educators and has served on Brunswick County’s Board of Health—champions accessible healthcare and middle-class job creation.

Wilmington lawyer Michael Lee is vying for a seat in state Senate District 9—with hearty endorsement from incumbent Senator Thom Goolsby.  Lee, a fellow Republican, has twice previously run for the same seat--to Julia Boseman in 2008, and to Goolsby in the 2010 primary. While Lee has never won an elected position, he serves on the Port Authority Board, as well as the state Department of Transportation’s board.  Lee views job growth, education reform and a balanced budget as integrated pursuits.

Justin LaNasa is no stranger to regional ballots. Most recently, LaNasa lost a bid for Wilmington mayor, in 2011. After a brief stint as a Libertarian, the weapons designer, real estate agent, and owner of several businesses--including a Wilmington tattoo parlor--is back to his Republican roots, and running for Senate District 9. And LaNasa is dedicated to lowering taxes, exploring new revenue streams—and seeing more checks and balances in government.

Walter Martin for Congress

The specter of home-grown terrorism:  it’s one of the main reasons Walter Martin says he hopes to win the Democratic Party nomination for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.

Michael T. Burns grew up in western North Carolina’s Jackson County, and spent time living in Georgia, Idaho and Raleigh before calling Wilmington home. Burns manages a RadioShack in Wilmington, and is active within the local Mormon Church.

A political newcomer, he’s also running for the District 9 Senate seat soon to be vacated by Thom Goolsby. Burns, a Republican, says Goolsby has done a wonderful job, and that he hopes to continue his work. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly spoke with the 20-year retail veteran about his plans to create local business--while cutting government spending.

casteen.org

Wesley Casteen grew up in nearby Duplin County and now lives in New Hanover.

Chris Andrade for Congress

Chris Andrade calls himself "a different kind of Republican".

New Hanover County

The race to represent North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District is now more crowded than it was just a week ago. 

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