Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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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.
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.