The following is next in a series of articles on the Nov. 6 general election.
The Ocracoke Observer asked the candidates running for the General Assembly district that includes Ocracoke for their views.
N.C. House of Representatives District 6 (no incumbents)
Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties
Note: Hanig supports all six amendments to the North Carolina constitution; Judge opposes them. A story on these amendments will be posted soon.
Bobby Hanig (R-Powells Point):
Hanig is the Currituck County Board of Commissioners chairman.
As a small business owner, I know the significance in vesting as many people as possible in any success. As a local government official, I know what governing needs and demands.
I support energy independence, but we should not consider offshore drilling, which risks too much that is vital to our region, when there are onshore energy options available.
Commercial fishing is a very important legacy of the Ocracoke way of life which must be preserved for generations to come. The state has a role to play here: regarding the inlets–like the public/private partnership to purchase a dredge and getting dredging done; ensuring we do not “Walmart” our fishing industries with mega firms from outside the area; and assisting preparedness and responsiveness to weather effects.
The prioritizing of resident transportation must always be a first consideration. I am pleased about the new passenger ferry. I am hopeful it will relieve some auto traffic and encourage and facilitate more pedestrian and environmentally friendly transportation.
Education options are important to help alleviate obstacles from being in a remote location. Expanding remote learning options through institutions like College of the Albemarle and ECU should be diligently pursued. This means a healthy infrastructure, which is one of the areas the state can partner, as well as in providing adequate state funding for education.
For health care, partnerships with stakeholders are the key to success as well as increased availability of technology. Cookie-cutter insurance solutions require people to pay more for services they do not need. I encourage many options in the marketplace, so consumers can make decisions best for them.
As for development, allowing local decision making rather than a heavy bureaucratic hand from Raleigh will insure Ocracoke continues to be what its residents want. Folks here work in community to accomplish their goals like the ball fields. State government does not need to get in the way of success like that.
I am confident that my relationship with your county government, developed through my tenure as a county commissioner, and with residents in Ocracoke will ensure I am hearing real Ocracoke voices on your issues.
Tess Judge (D-Kill Devil Hills)
Editor’s note: Judge visited Ocracoke on Oct. 9 at a meeting in the Berkley Manor to meet islanders and present her views.
The ferry system is an extension of the state highway system and should be maintained as such including keeping the navigation channels passable. I will work to ensure that any attempt to enact tolls on the ferry system be soundly defeated.
Education provides the foundation of a strong economy. To ensure opportunity for success now and in the future, we must allocate the resources necessary for our teachers, schools and community colleges so that our students can reach their potential.
An educated, well-trained workforce will make our region more attractive for economic growth while strengthening our businesses and industries. I will advocate for developing partnerships between community colleges and small businesses, medical technology and other industries so that workforce training programs better fit the current and future needs for skilled labor.
People who live in rural northeastern North Carolina deserve more and better health care choices. We must expand medical services in our rural communities and improve our health outcomes. It is crucial that we provide more access to health care especially mental health treatment options for patients. I will work to increase the opportunities for our seniors to have more access to geriatric health care. It is my heartfelt mission to ensure that our people have the opportunity for a healthier quality of life.
In northeastern N.C. our natural resources are exceptional and unique. It is critical that we work to maintain and enhance our natural resources and use smart growth and development.
I am strongly opposed to seismic testing and off-shore drilling because of the potential devastation to our economy and our environment. We must support growth and development with balanced and well-thought out regulations that are fair and that ensure sustainability.
It is important to me that I work hard to protect our natural resources because our economy – both on Ocracoke Island and in our District – is critically dependent on farming, fishing and tourism.
Commercial fishing is part of our heritage and cultural history. I will work in the legislature to adopt regulations of our fisheries to allow for our commercial fishermen to make a living while ensuring the long-term sustainability of their livelihood and the fisheries resource.