U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross appeals to women and families of Cape Fear

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Deborah Ross, visited Wilmington to speak about her plans to help women and families in North Carolina. The event was held downtown at the Hannah S. Block Community Center in their dance studio: an intimate setting for attendees to get to know the candidate.

During her speech, Ross took time to recognize the local officials and candidates present. Those in attendance included City Councilman Paul Lawler; Mayor Pro Tempore Margret Hayes; Democratic candidate for North Carolina District 7 of the U.S. House of Representatives, J. Wesley Casteen; and Democratic candidate for North Carolina State Senate, Andrew Barnhill.

One of the issues Ross touched on in her speech was providing economic stability for families, which for her included closing the wage gap.

“We need to make sure that our policies evolve with the families we have today, which is why I have always been a champion for equal pay for equal work,” she said.

Ross criticized her opponent, Senator Richard Burr, for voting against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.  She also touched on her work in North Carolina’s General Assembly to try to raise minimum wage and implement various childcare programs to help mothers and fathers who would like to go to community college.

With an emphasis on women and families, she later discussed her healthcare plans. A supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Ross noted room for improvement, hoping to revise it to give people more options.

She also expanded on her views of social security, on which she gave a speech in Wilmington in July. Criticizing Senator Burr’s plans to privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, Ross said she plans to make an effort to stabilize social security “not just for this generation of seniors, but for folks who want to retire in the future.”

Ross cited her work to revise domestic violence laws in the general assembly as an example of how she plans to work with Republicans.

“That was a bipartisan group of women working on that, and that’s the kind of approach I want to bring to the U.S. Senate,” Ross said. “When we come together and solve these problems, our state is stronger, our nation is stronger, and our families are stronger.”

According to a recent poll from The New York Times, Ross is up by four points against current senator Richard Burr, who has served since 2005. 

Correction: In a previous version of this article, J. Wesley Casteen was listed as a Libertarian candidate for Congress. He is a Democratic candidate.