Two Democrats Vying for U.S. House Seat
In the Democratic primary for the reconfigured 2nd U.S. Congressional District, three candidates are on the ballot, but only two are actively seeking votes on May 8.
Toni Morris, of Fayetteville, and Steve Wilkins, of Whispering Pines, are vying for the chance to face the Republican nominee in November.
Jim Bibbs, of Pittsboro, remains on the ballot after stating in mid-March that he was pulling out of the race due to family health concerns.
Morris, of Fayetteville, is a licensed professional counselor who provides services to all ages. She’s a married mother of two adult children, a son, 24, and a daughter, 19. Her husband, Charles, is a retired Air Force sergeant. They have been married 25 years.
Morris said she began paying close attention to politics within the last year and the more she watched the more she decided that she could make a difference.
Morris said that she enjoys helping people in her job and she hopes to feel a similar sense of accomplishment if elected.
“The main thing for me, I am always going to be focused on people because that is what matters to me,” Morris said.
She lists creating jobs, health care and the military as three main areas important to her in this election.
She said she encounters people regularly who are struggling financially, and who have lost their jobs. She said it is critical to work together as a country to help create jobs.
“There are so many people applying for what they can apply for, but there are just not a lot of jobs out there,” she said.
She also believes in finding a way to provide adequate health care for all Americans.
She also opposes cutting defense budgets that would cost jobs to those who have fought for this country.
When asked what differentiates her from her opponent, Morris said it is her ability as a people person to listen to concerns.
“I am focused on people, understanding issues and concerns that people have,” Morris said.
Morris is active in her community as a volunteer for the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, the Lupus Foundation and the Special Olympics.
Wilkins is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army, including three tours at Fort Bragg. He is married and the father of two adult children. His wife of nearly 25 years, Meg, works in the Moore County Schools.
Wilkins grew up in a family where politics was a common topic of conversation. Wilkins said service to his country is important and he believes it’s time for a change in Washington.
“We need new people to represent us in Washington,” Wilkins said. “We need people with depth and breadth of experience and I think I have that.”
He currently works for the The Boeing Co., is a member of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, serves on the Whispering Pines Lakes and Watershed Board, and is active in his church.
Among his key issues, Wilkins lists education, energy, the national debt, military/defense and poverty.
Wilkins says he will support education initiatives that cut the dropout rate, improve outdated classrooms and eliminate overcrowding. He supports efforts to improve graduation rates and keep children in schools.
“In terms of the economy, jobs and education, we need to quit talking about those things separately and wrap them into one package,” he said.
He also said continuing to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, supporting our military and creating a more balanced foreign policy are other areas of concern.
When asked what differentiates him from his opponent, Wilkins noted his experience.
“I was a military liaison in Congress,” Wilkins said. “I have walked those halls, I have the familiarity with how the process works, and I also have business experience.”
Wilkins’ past civic services include: member, Fort Campbell community schools board; Parent Advisory Committee member at New Century Middle School and Union Pines High School; chairman of Pinehurst United Methodist Church council; and member of Whispering Pines Long- Range Planning Committee.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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