As a service to voters ahead of the 2024 party primaries in North Carolina, SamWalkerOBXNews.com has asked each of the candidates running in Dare and Currituck counties to answer a series of questions on various issues.
Primary Day in North Carolina is set for Tuesday, March 5.
To be as fair as possible to each candidate, the order in which their answers appear has been dictated by the order in which their name appears on the ballot.
Below are candidates running for the Republican nomination for Dare County Commissioner District 2 seat between challenger Christian Hayman and incumbent board chair Bob Woodard.
District 2 commissioners represent Nags Head, Colington, and Kill Devil Hills, but are elected at-large and appear on all ballots in Dare County.
Meet The Candidates
I am a 7th generation-born and raised resident of the Outer Banks. Growing up on the Outer Banks was like living in paradise. The only time I left the area was for five years when I joined the United States Army. While in the Army I proudly served my country as a Military Police Officer, but now I feel it is time to serve my community.
When I was young it was my honor to portray Wano in the Lost Colony. As a teenager, I worked for Owens’ Restaurant. My family has been in the restaurant business for years as my grandparents Mike and Rachel Hayman owned and operated the Seafare Restaurant in Nags Head.
My great-grandfather Dewy Hayman served as Mayor of Nags Head and NC State Senator while owning the Arlington Hotel.
I am an active member of St. Andrews By The Sea Episcopal Church and was baptized in the old chapel. I was an Acolyte, a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and an Usher.
I am a member of the United States Cavalry Association and an Army veteran. I enjoy fishing and hunting along with sitting on the beach to watch the sunrise and playing with my dog Chance.
If elected I would like to hear from my community about changes they want to see for a better future for our county. I will push for Dare County Local Residents to have the opportunity for better and affordable housing. I feel that by preserving our local history we as a community would benefit greatly economically, along with supporting locally owned businesses, like mom-and-pop shops such as locally owned restaurants and other businesses.
Robert L. “Bob” Woodard, Sr.
I bring to public service a passion for identifying creative solutions and developing affordable and cost-effective programs. My wife and I live in Kill Devil Hills. We have two sons and four grandchildren.
My public service includes serving on the Dare County Board of Commissioners since 2012 and Chairman since 2014.
I currently serve on the Board of Trustees of the College of the Albemarle, Chairman of the Dare County Emergency Management Senior Leaders, Capital Improvements Committee, Roanoke Island Historical Association, Dare Bombing Range Advisory Council, Five on Five Committee with the Dare County Board of Education and Chairman of the Dare County Workforce Housing Task Force.
Before retiring in 2022, I had a distinguished professional career helping business owners and their employees with their insurance needs.
I most recently served as Vice President of Towne Insurance, a Towne Family Company, providing strategic direction for clients in eastern North Carolina.
Through the years, I served on a number of various committees for the Professional Insurance Agents Association, the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, and the PIA Workers Compensation Advisory Council.
Besides housing, what are the biggest challenges the county faces over the next 10 years, and if elected how do you plan to address them?
The cost of living in our county, we need to lower taxes. If elected I will pursue lowering local taxes.
In the coming years, we face the ongoing challenge of balancing our tourism-based economy while keeping Dare County as an affordable place to live, work, and raise a family.
This touches many areas of life in our community such as assuring adequate funding for our exemplary schools, providing safe and reliable transportation access to all of Dare County, creating much-needed housing opportunities, and safeguarding the health and human services programs that protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Since becoming a county commissioner we have tackled these and other issues and will continue to face them as we build on what has already been accomplished with our sound conservative financial practices.
As commissioner, how will you move forward in solving the housing issue in Dare County?
Put in an affordable housing program that lower-income families can afford.
Teamwork is the key. Working in close partnership with the towns and community stakeholders, I will continue to address the growing need for housing.
Do you believe Dare County has a growth problem? If yes, in what ways as commissioner will you try to bring it in check? If not, explain why you feel the county’s path of development has been positive?
I would not say it’s a growth problem but we have several houses that are being built, and nobody lives in them.
We need to stop building “just to build.” It has never made sense.
Every community or organization that experiences growth has to honestly face whatever growing pains that may arise.
No matter what issue may develop, I have always sought solutions by bringing the community together to face them in a responsible and balanced way.
For example, growth can increase congestion, but it can also bring low unemployment and increased funding for county schools.
Balancing the problem and benefits of growth is the duty that elected officials throughout the country must face and creatively solve for their citizens.
I am dedicated to continuing to face these issues and fight on behalf of the people of Dare County.
What is your view on beach nourishment projects overall, and what steps would you be willing to take as commissioner to nourish the Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo beach?
We need to keep our beaches open. Nobody seems to realize that driving on the beach actually helps the sand.
I am all about taking care of our beaches but we need to keep them open.
Beach nourishment is an important part of maintaining the infrastructure that supports our tourism-based economy.
As a commissioner, I have actively engaged with citizen groups throughout Dare County seeking the benefits of beach nourishment.
As the board has done in other areas, such as Avon and Buxton, I will continue to help find workable solutions to address the needs of concerned property owners in Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo.
Do you support/oppose the county joining with the National Park Service on the remediation efforts they have already undertaken in Rodanthe (buying oceanfront properties and removing homes), and please explain why?
I support the national parks in our area. Our parks are very important to our local history and environment.
I applaud the willingness of Superintendent David Hallac and the National Park Service to address this issue.
I am open to continuing the dialogue with impacted Rodanthe residents and the Park Service to explore additional creative and affordable solutions.
Do you support or oppose the proposed expansion of The Soundside Event Site in Nags Head, and please explain why?
I oppose it. We simply just don’t have the room for an expansion of the site.
But if someone can show me a plan that would work and would not destroy the marsh or the ecosystem, I would sit down with them and maybe consider changing my opinion on the matter.
The future of the Soundside Event site is a jurisdictional issue for the Town of Nags Head, and I encourage them to listen to their residents and community stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome for their endeavor.
As commissioner, how will you work with state and federal regulatory and elected officials to protect the marine and seafood industries of Dare County?
I would work with them by pushing our local businesses to sell local seafood
I am proud of what the Dare County Board of Commissioners has done to fight on behalf of our local fishing industry against unfair fishing regulations.
For years, we have vehemently opposed every instance of government overreach whether it is from Washington, D.C. or Raleigh.
How as commissioner will you address/improve the needs of residents of mainland Dare County?
I am running for District 2, so the mainland would be out of my jurisdiction.
But I would say that it would be the same as the rest of the county. We need affordable housing for all residents
Throughout my tenure as a Dare County Commissioner, I have worked tirelessly to address the needs of ALL Dare County residents including those on the mainland.
I have done this through citizen dialogue, public gatherings, and community involvement in every village and area within Dare County.
What is one public service the county lacks that you would like to see added, a public service Dare already has that needs improving, and a public service the county excels at?
We need more funding for our local law enforcement.
I am very proud of the services that Dare County provides its residents and visitors. Since becoming a commissioner we have added and expanded many county services in direct response to input and request from our citizens.
I look forward to continuing our openness to new ideas so we can all work together as I have said before to keep Dare County as a great place to live, work and raise a family.
What is one thing you want voters to know about yourself that makes you stand out from your opponent?
I am a proud Army veteran, and I was born and raised here.
Not a lot of people know that I was actually born in Kitty Hawk, and I want to see our county thrive for greatness.
I pledge to continue my track record of serving the people of Dare County with an unwavering commitment to conservative financial policies which has enabled us to provide a high level of citizen services without raising taxes.
This pledge forms the foundation upon which I add my skills and experience as a business leader to put together teams of people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints and lead them in working together for the common good.
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Credit: Original content published here.