There are three district elections for the Lee County Board of Commissioners in November. Here, we have answers from the candidates for District 3 (the southern half of Carolina Trace and most of Lee County south of Tramway Road), Republican incumbent Andre Knecht and Democratic challenger Kate Woods. These answers were published unedited and as received from the candidates in the September and October editions of The Rant Monthly.
In person early voting begins on Thursday at the Lee County Board of Elections at 1503 Elm St. or the McSwain Center at 2420 Tramway Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday between Oct. 20 and Nov. 4. In person early voting will also be available from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. Election Day is Nov. 8. For information about absentee ballots, click here.
Please introduce yourself and describe your qualifications for office:
KNECHT: No response.
WOODS: I’m Kate Woods, a ten-year resident of Lee County, mother of three children who attend Lee County Public schools, and wife of an Army Veteran. I manage events and catering sales as well as food and beverage operations at Carolina Trace Country Club. I’ve spent the last seven years involved in the management of the Carolina Trace Association, the last two as Vice President and Chair of the Safety & Security Committee. With that, I’ve assisted in major infrastructure improvement projects, participated in budget discussions, and represented the needs and concerns of over 1,600 homes and 3,000 economically and socially diverse residents both on the Board of Directors and to outside agencies like NCDOT and the Lee County public school system. I believe that we should all strive to be of service to our community. In this country, we find ourselves in a situation where elected officials no longer serve as the direct voice of their constituents, voting instead in their own self-interest. Serving as the voice of my community, I intend to advocate for their needs. I want to reignite trust in our representatives. This is a pivotal time for Lee County as we experience exponential growth. I feel a responsibility to ensure that future growth and development is benefiting our residents.
Lee County has experienced massive tax base growth in recent years, leading to an increase in property tax revenue. How will you balance the opportunity to decrease property tax rates with other needs brought about by growth (capital projects such as the new library) and the public’s vote in 2020 to proceed with the multi-sports complex?
KNECHT: No response.
WOODS: Tax reduction often sounds good on paper, but economically speaking it is rarely a good idea to reduce assessments unless you are in possession of an incredibly large surplus. We have a duty to ensure our current infrastructure can support the exponential growth in people, traffic, and consumer needs coming from the influx in jobs and homes to our area. The county voted to move forward with the construction of the multi-sports complex, and we have a responsibility to see that fulfilled—especially when it has the potential to drastically increase our tourism revenues. Athletes and their families will eat at our local restaurants and shop at our local businesses, and more opportunities will be provided for the youth of Lee County as they host and compete against other youth athletes from around North Carolina and outside the State. As we travel between Charlotte, Raleigh, and Rockingham for my childrens’ sporting events, we spend money in those communities; it is time to see that revenue return back to Lee County. Not to mention that projects like the new library next to O.T. Sloan Park are a valuable resource and vital to the continued success of our young people. We have a lot of bright minds in our county dedicated to making sure we can meet our financial obligations, and should they come up with a budget that both reduces county taxes while also meeting the commitments made to the voters. I see no reason not to support that.
Have you signed any pledges or promises to outside groups or individuals in exchange for an endorsement? If so, please describe them.
KNECHT: No response.
WOODS: I have not, nor would I ever, sign any pledges or promises that dictate how I may vote or behave just to receive an endorsement. I have been inspired by the fierce independence and freedom in thought of Lee County residents. Just as we would never allow Cumberland or Harnett or Wake counties to dictate county policy here, I will never allow myself to be influenced or cast my vote at the behest of others. I have too much respect for my constituents and myself.
Soaring building costs have changed plans for the county’s multi-sports complex, for which nearly 59 percent of Lee County voters approved a $25 million bond in 2020. Now that the project is slated for completion in multiple stages, what will you do to ensure it becomes a reality in as close alignment as possible with the voters’ wishes while also keeping additional spending minimal?
KNECHT: No response.
WOODS: A $25 million dollar project in 2020 is not a $25 million dollar project in 2022. The key to making sure the multi-sports complex gets completed as originally intended, is to make sure our county continues to see the revenue needed to fund its completion. With a proportionate increase in revenue, we can adjust to the increase in total project cost without diminishing the project or overburdening the residents of Lee County. I am committed to making sure our county continues to see that needed revenue so that we do not allow increased construction cost to be used as an excuse to default on the promises made when the bond was approved in 2020.
To ensure we complete each phase without changing the final product, it is imperative to stay well informed on the trends in construction costs and make sure that our RFPs are bringing in companies with competitive pricing. We need to keep a close eye on the market so that we can make informed decisions that could bring our total project cost closer to the original cost. A 1-year delay on Phase 2 could mean the difference between millions when it comes to the cost of building materials. We have qualified individuals managing this project, they just need the support of a commissioner who understands the process and is willing to give them all the needed tools and backing to do what is best in each situation.
Confidence in elections has eroded nationwide in recent years, particularly following the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Will you recognize the outcome of your race in 2022, and if elected, what steps will you take to show the public that Lee County’s election process and election workers can be trusted?
KNECHT: No response.
WOODS: When you deny the outcome of an election, you undermine the entire electoral process, you diminish faith in our elected officials, and you reduce the trust people have in our government on all levels. I vow to accept the outcome of my race with grace. If elected, I will reinforce the trust I have in Lee County’s electoral process and its elected officials by standing fast to the promises I make during my own race. The public understandably mistrusts their officials when they lack transparency and ignore the will of their constituents. I hope by exemplifying what I seek in a representative, someone who listens to the needs of my constituents and prioritizes their concerns, that I can reignite trust in all aspects of Lee County’s government and election process. I will also encourage participation in the election process. Nothing builds trust like volunteering as a poll worker and experiencing it first-hand.
Up to 3 candidates that don’t think we deserve responses. There is a common theme here.
Wow, Really? Andre can’t bother to give responses to The Rant… Republicans complain that the Liberal media gives no voice to Conservatives and Republicans, yet when given the opportunity you don’t take it… Sad. FYI I am a Conservative and I am very disappointed.
There are no consequences for him blowing it off. People will still vote for him not knowing how he stands on issues just because of the R beside his name. There are no forums in Lee anymore because the GOP refused to attend them. Personally, I think it is a slap in the face to citizens but until the voters hold him accountable he will do this. He knows he is in a very red and safe district so why bother?
Republicans do not complain that we are not given a voice. We complain, when our voices are misunderstood by the left and they twist everything that is said to fit their narrative and agenda, thereby undermining the complete process in general. And, why bother giving a response to a stupid question in the first place? I would do the exact same thing because some questions and people are just flat out stupid and don’t deserve an answer. And when a question such as “will you recognize the outcome of your race” is asked it’s a bait question that deserves NO response. People have such a hard-on for Mr.Trump, that they have to twist EVERYTHING that is said to dispel, discredit, and demonize a great man. Well, in a few years we will see the truth and he will once again be in office serving the people (even the ones who don’t deserve it, and yes there are alot of them) because that is who he is and he does what is right regardless if it is popular or not! Build the wall, lower taxes for middle class and lower income families, and rule the Student loan forgiveness illegal as it should be. Make people accountable for the actions…..you voluntarily took on the debt, now YOU pay it off! I would expect responses that are on a certain level of decorum and thought, but I know that will not happen on this platform, because this is the very definition of fake news!
Republicans today are such cry-babies. “That question is stupid.” Wahhh!!! “That’s a bait question.”
Wahhh!!! “They are being mean to the great Trumpkin” Wahhh!!! The fact that most of them have been so fooled into believing (without one single shred of evidence in 60+ court cases giving them opportunity to prove it) that the election was stolen, is damning. Yet they continue to stick to the false narrative. They even supported the fake electors, and the attempt to overthrow a certified election. They continue to copy the orange traitor by not accepting the outcome of the election. That is why the question “Will you accept the outcome?” is important. A refusal to answer is as good as saying “Only if I win”. I say Bullshit, and Fuq you! I guess we just have to wait for you motherfuqers to die off. You can continue to dream of Trumpistan, but you will never achieve it. God Bless America, and screw you red-hatters!
Well your name says it all Red traitor hater. The great Trumpkin? Really. Whose really being the cry-baby here. It’s you. All I’m going to say to your reply is this. If there is evidence against Mr.Trump, in ANY of the charges, then why is the DOJ claiming they are out of money to pursue the charges against him? Let’s see your response to that question. Or are you going to not answer it because it’s such a bait question. Hmmmm….kinda thought so.
ReELECTtraitorTrUmP!, Where in the world did you get the information that the DOJ is claiming they don’t have the money to pursue charges against the great Trumpkin? Maybe you saw that they are requesting more money to continue convicting more of the 800+ traitors that took part in the insurrection. You do know that nearly 100 people have already been sentenced to actual jail time right? Honestly, they got off light in my opinion. They all should have been dealt with using that device that was set up on the capitol grounds. It takes a lot of money to prosecute these traitors. Don’t you worry though, they are keeping a little bit back to convict your master. God Bless America, and screw you red-hatters!
Where do I get the information from? Well, it’s called the news. maybe you should try and watch it sometime and actually listen to what they are saying instead of just spouting off crap you heard someone else say. Oh wait, that’s right people like you cannot form their own opinion. You have others speak for you because you don’t know enough about what’s going on in the world to think for yourself. Sorry I forgot. And what insurrection? Sorry, I NEVER saw any insurrection ever take place. Oh, you must be referring to the Jan. 6th incident. Sweetie, allow me to inform you, that was not an insurrection. You see in order for an insurrection to actually occur, weapons and violence are needed, and none of that was present during the occupation of Jan.6th. Yeah, that’s right an occupation, not an insurrection,
REelectTRUMP, I have to chime in here and say you are 100% absolutely correct! It was classified as an insurrection and that was completely wrong! It was an occupation and something that NEEDED to happen, and will more than likely happen again in the future if sneaky shady politicians continue to try and screw over the people who put them in office. GREAT observation!
I’m not one for advocating violence and this occupation was non-violent. Democrats and Liberals are looking for a way out of the mess they created and are trying to use Republicans and Donald Trump as a scapegoat plain and simple. While I may not agree with everything he says, he did govern the country the correct way and that’s what we need. Open and honest people governing the country, not trying to rule it and pandering to everyone just to be popular. Results speak for themselves and he got results. People like Red traitor hater are nothing more than trolls who have no knowledge of the world and are trying to get a reaction out of people. And the fact that they end their posts with “God bless America and screw you red hatters” tells you everything you need to know about them and their lack of values and morals it takes to run a country. Plus the fact that the poster calls Trump your “master” is laughable to all. And I too saw the news where it says the DOJ is running out of money on this witch hunt that has been going on for two years already, with nothing to show for its efforts. Have faith my friend, we will win the House, the Senate, and the Office next election and will right all the wrongs that are currently in place.
How very sad that ReELECTtraitorTrUmP! has to respond, pretending to be a different person that agrees. It was an insurrection for sure. The whackos took over the capitol building for a few hours. They used violence against law enforcement (So much for supporting police). Maybe you are under the belief that bullets need to be flying for it to be considered “Violent”? You couldn’t be more wrong.
You’re not one of those WWG1WGA QAnon creeps are you? I wonder how many new personalities you will come up to support you now? Either way, you are delusional. Enjoy your different personalities, and never forget, God Bless America, and screw you red-hatters!
I have to point out the obvious. So many people keep calling January the 6th an “Insurrection” I find it interesting that not one person has been charged or convicted of Insurrection. How can it be an insurrection and nobody be even charged with the crime of insurrection? I will wait for an answer…..
Insurrection is very difficult to prove. It looks like the feds decided to limit the charges to lessor crimes. More than 500 people have been charged with nearly 1000 felonies. The most serious charges range from assaulting police officers with dangerous weapons to seditious conspiracy. The conspiracy charges are easier to prove than “Insurrection”, but still difficult. Thankfully, most of the criminals are getting jail time (up to 5 years), plus probation and fines. They also have lost their right to own firearms and vote. I think they got off easy.
Has Andre ever proposed anything that improved Lee County during his time as a County Commissioner? Maybe he likes the free health insurance?
I only wish I could trust all politicians as much as I trust Kate Woods. She will be a role model to all other representatives of the people.
I have had several interactions with Kate and always left with a strongly positive impression both from her paid position and her volunteer role. Strong work ethic.
Just for the record Red traitor hater, more than one person can have the same opinion and agree with each other….that’s what is so wonderful about being a Republican. We can agree or disagree with each other, and still keep it civil and base our observations on FACTS, not opinions, false narratives, or WOKE culture. If you believe I have multiple personalities, good for you, maybe you will keep your opinion to yourself and leave ALL of them alone.
And you can answer your own question about the Q Anon remark. I support Mr. Trump, Margery Taylor Greene, and Kari Lake in all their visions and endeavors. They are what is needed to set the country back on it’s feet and they don’t care if people like you support them or not. It’s the right thing to do, and it will be done. And maybe you need to fact check yourself before you go and tell others that an insurrection is difficult to prove. It’s actually very easy to approve if the facts supported it. But alas, they did not, and it was classified as an occupation. Now go get in the line at CVS and get your booster shot and flu shot at the same time since you enjoy being a sheep and will do whatever your told to, and leave the real work to the Republicans. You will receive no more attention from me, or others regarding your remarks on this topic anymore.
ReELECTtraitorTrUmP!: Of course multiple people can have the same opinion, but in this case, it is just you and your multiple personalities. Just in this thread alone you have used 3 different names that I am aware of.
“Facts”? YOU are going to claim that you use facts? That is laughable. If it makes you feel better, I’ll amend my claim from Insurrection to “Sedition”. That meets with the actual charges and convictions so far. Does that make it more palatable? The only sheep I see are the minions of traitor trump.
As always, God Bless America, and screw you red-hatters!
Red traitor hater, I’m a Republican but not what you so eloquently refer to as a “red-hatter”, so maybe you need to do some research and learn the difference between the two groups. I used to be Democrat, but made the switch years ago, when I saw what the Democratic party was doing to the economy and lining their own pockets instead of using their positions to help everyone. I feel ObamaCare was the worst thing ever created, and helped not a single person, but made headlines under the guise of “everyone gets affordable health-care”. Well, if a person is forced to take something they don’t want,or don’t need, what does that prove. It proves that the will of one, is being forced upon the need of many, and that is just not right. What are your thoughts. And, allow me to preference your response with this. I am willing to engage in thoughtful dialog with you, however if you end your post with “red-hatter” or anything related to MAGA, Q anaon or things like that, the conversation will end right then and there, and my point will be proven 100% that Democrats cannot have a conversation and discuss viewpoints without getting their feelings hurt. I will refuse to engage in conversation with a person who claims to have something to say, but resorts to name calling like a child. My time is much more valuable than that. So what say you in response.
LOL you used the same email address to register each of the names in this thread purporting to be different people.
You will sadly be disappointed by how I end my response. I honestly do not care if my reference to Re-hatters, MAGA minions, or Q-Anon hurts your feelings. Let’s be honest here, that is the Republican party today. You want to make it go away, you know what to do.
Until I see a difference between let’s call them “Old Republicans”, and Red-hatters, I will lump them together. Evidence shows us there are few “old republicans” in the GOP. The vast majority are minions of the Great Trumpkin (Halloween season you know). They either fully support him, or stay silent. They have shown that they are not the “Patriots” they have been claiming for years. Republicans would rather support the traitor than the constitution and our country.
You asked about specific policy, so here is my response to that. I think Obamacare was one of the greatest accomplishments created by our federal government in the last 30 years. My issue with it is that it didn’t go far enough. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t need health insurance. There are plenty who don’t want to pay for it though. We both know that nothing is free. That includes the fees charged off by healthcare businesses for non-payers. If you don’t have insurance, and heaven forbid you get cancer, or are in a car accident, or fall from a ladder at home, or…etc, most likely, you won’t have the money to pay the $500,000 to $1,000,000 plus bill you get. You will file bankruptcy, lose most everything you have, and the rest of us will be charged more to cover your dead-beat self.
You are delusional if you think Obamacare has not helped people. It was more than just insurance. Think of the people (probably someone you know) who are still alive only because of the benefit of preventative care. I know this is a dead end with you, so I will leave it there.
It’s good to know that you are against a group of people dictating what you can or cannot do. With this view, I can only assume that you support Pro-Choice for women.
My question to you, which I already assume you won’t answer, is this. If Traitor Trump runs for president again, will you support him?
As always, God Bless America, and screw you red-hatters!
I have a couple of questions for you Conservative by Nature. What about the Democratic Party did you like that got you to register as a Democrat? Do you believe the health care system was good prior to Obama Care?
Red traitor hater. Trump co-opted the Ross Perot voters into the republican party. Ross was into conspiracies and illegal immigration. If you check many of the current republicans and unaffiliated that vote republican their party change happened about the time Obama was elected. I am a DEM that helps candidates at the polls so I see the voters and can pretty much tell the straight party voters before they go inside and vote. It is truly sad that the majority of the Trump type voters are voting against their economic interests. The current economy is temporary and from what I can tell is on its way to recovery. Heck the GDP rose 2.6% last quarter, the stock market is on an upward trajectory, gas prices have stabilized while inching downward, wages are rising even faster than inflation, the unemployment rate is at 3.5% record low, manufacturing is on the increase, etc. Yet what is likely to happen is republicans take back the US House and maybe the Senate and will take credit for the improving economy. You just can’t make it up.
Open Minded – I agree that the GOP went off the rails when President Obama was elected. It was a shock to their system. Then he had the gall to get re-elected!
I’m not so sure that the republicans will take back both the house and the senate. It will be close, but maybe the very heavy early voting numbers bode well. There is a difference between the two parties that I never expected to say. The democrats will accept the result. They might not like it, but they will accept it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few tongue-in-cheek comments from Dems about a fake election to poke at the red-hatters. Those will quickly go away. The Republicans, on the other hand, have already shown us what will happen if they lose.
Republicans don’t really care about the country and our democracy any longer. They care about two things. Power to force others to live according to their beliefs, and ‘OWNING THE LIBS”. They like to call themselves patriots, but most are far from it. I guess they are trying to fool themselves.
Never forget: God Bless America, and screw the red-hatters!