The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th

Commissioner Candidates Debate

The Democratic candidates for Orange County Board of Commissioners seats all participated in the forum.

All candidates emphasized their records of leadership skills when addressing the audience.

Keith Cook, the only black candidate for commissioner, cited his experience as a school board member and his commitment to the community to explain why voters should pick him in the primary elections this Tuesday.

"We need leadership," Cook said. "I will bring in citizens to government; I will cooperate with other local governments."

Cook said his major goals as commissioner would be to sustain quality of life, improve waste management and schools as well as provide more affordable housing.

Incumbent Alice Gordon continued to push her community-focused campaign.

"I am for excellent schools, environmental protection and caring human services," Gordon said.

"I do my homework, as you know, and I will ask the hard questions."

Stephen Halkiotis, vice chairman of the board, said he would continue to provide the same commitment to people that voters had come to expect of him since he took office nearly two decades ago.

"I will study forever, I will work to improve public works," he said.

"I always have and I always will act in a positive manner for the citizens of Orange County."

Board Chairman Barry Jacobs said as a commissioner for Orange County, he would work in the interests of the whole county, not just particular parts.

"I travel around the whole county and put up my signs all over the county because I represent everyone," Jacobs said. "You know me, I'm not a friend just at election time."

The candidates are vying for three spots following the Democratic primary to face two Republican challengers.

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