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Fayetteville mayoral candidates face off in forum

Nat Robertson and Val Applewhite are in a run-off election next Tuesday.
October 30, 2013 4:05:35 AM PDT
The two candidates running for the mayor of Fayetteville faced over some of the city's most decisive issues during a forum Tuesday evening at Fayetteville State University.

For the most part, it was a tame forum. It took until the end of the night for one candidate to throw a political punch.

"My opponent voted against putting cameras in cars," said candidate Nat Robertson. "You can Google that and see. She stood up here and said she supported it."

Robertson is referring to cameras in police cars. He ended the night attacking the credibility of his opponent, Val Applewhite.

"She also voted against written consent searches, which she now stands up here and says something different," said Robertson.

When it was her turn at the microphone, Applewhite ignored the comments.

There was another memorable moment of the night about racial profiling. The term DWB, which stands for Driving While Black, came out of Robertson's mouth when asked about ending alleged racial profiling when it comes to who police pull over

"I took a stand to support written consent search waivers, that police officers would have to get signed before doing a consent search," said Robertson.

"As your mayor, we will have zero tolerance for racial profiling in this city," said Applewhite.

Another big topic of the night was fighting crime.

"We've got to look at boots on the ground," said Robertson.

"Unless we start to deal with social issues that underlay crime, we're never going to find our way out of it," said Applewhite.

They each shared different approaches to that, and to a question about helping veterans.

"As far as a city department actually working with veterans and folks retiring from the military, it's really not a function of the city," said Robertson, "but I would support outside agencies doing that."

"A lot of people concentrate on the things City Hall can't do," said Applewhite. "I think we need to start finding ways to get it done."

On Oct. 8, more than 5,000 favored Applewhite versus the more than 3,000 who voted for Robertson.

The public will decide again on Nov. 5.

One of them will replace current Mayor Tony Chavonne, who chose not to seek a fifth term.

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