District 6: Separating the Candidates - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

District 6: Separating the Candidates

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For 16 years, County Commissioner Bill James has been a fixture in local government.

He represents District 6, which serves Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville and south Charlotte.

This year, some say he faces his first real challenge in a Republican primary.

"I honestly believe competition is a good thing," said James talking about his challenger, Ed Driggs.

James is known for fiscal conservatism and inflammatory comments about gays and blacks.

"I may not be what everyone wants," he said. "Some people may agree with me on A and disagree with me on B. But, they're going to know where I stand and what I believe," he added.

For example, James supports Amendment One. If passed it would make marriage between one man and one woman the only legally recognized union in the state.

James says he also opposes city-county government consolidation;  he strongly supports Ballantyne de-annexation; and is calling for the county to investigate the property revaluation process. Some homeowners in his district saw their values go up double-digits.

To see his campaign website, click here.

James admits that he's not out and about much at public events. However, he is constantly emailing the media and constituents about issues he feels are important.

"I'm there when it counts," he said.

His challenger,Ed Driggs, is a political newcomer. Driggs is retired from a career in finance. He currently serves on a board with Communities in Schools and sits on the President's Council for Central Piedmont Community College.

To see his campaign website, click here.

He's collected several endorsements from local government leaders; however, James criticizes him for not voting in other elections.

"He's trying to make the fact I missed a couple primaries into a big issue, as if people who didn't vote in primaries can't be good conservatives," said Driggs.

Driggs agrees with James on several issues, including consolidation and the revaluation process.

On the potential of Ballantyne forming its own municipality, Driggs says he would like to see more research.

"Anything like this must be approached carefully," he said.

Driggs says the current leadership has been ineffective, the rhetoric too harsh.

Both he and James consider themselves conservatives. The biggest difference may be in their approach.

The winner of their primary will face Democrat Connie Green Johnson in November.

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WEB EXTRA: District 6 Questionnaire

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WBTV's Sharon Smith sent a questionnaire to both Republican candidates for District 6. Both candidates answers are below. Bill James Ed Driggs More>>

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