Grad student seeks change by running for City Council seat
Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 15:04
Joshua Fulton, a graduate student at UNCW, will run for one of three city council spots opening up this year. Fulton is a student in the creative writing MFA program and has lived in Wilmington for two years.
Fulton decided to get involved with local politics when he "saw how spending and debt had ballooned since 2004."
According to Fulton, expenditures in the city of Wilmington have increased by 56 percent and debt has doubled since 2004. The city has the fifth highest tax burden of the largest 33 cities in North Carolina, he said.
"With figures like those, there needs to be a change in Wilmington," said Fulton, a fiscal conservative.
Fulton is also concerned about safety and the impact the city's financial situation will have on the police services. "We live in a very dangerous town," Fulton said. He cited a 2009 FBI report ranking Wilmington the 97th most dangerous city in the U.S. based on violent crime statistics.
Fulton is against brothel laws that present problems for fraternities and sororities. He is a supporter of the Stop Titan movement. Fulton is also against forced annexation, which has caused people living in Monkey Junction to have to pay higher property taxes for years without seeing the benefits, he said.
Although his opponents Laura Padgett, Kristi Tomey and Ronald Sparks are in support of a city rule that prevents new downtown bars from being within 330 feet of each other, Fulton said if elected, he will fight the attack on downtown nightlife. A comprehensive look at his stances on local issues can be found at his campaign website.
Although he is only 30—"and has the driver's license to prove it if you don't believe him"—and has never run for public office, according to his website, he said he thinks he has a shot. "The people I'm running against are fairly well-established," Fulton said. But that is why he is starting early. Although he cannot file until June, he has formed a committee and is looking for volunteers. His strategy is to "pound the pavement" and go door-to-door to rally support, he said.
Fulton attended NYU for a Bachelor's in Art and Psychology, spent time doing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and is currently a teaching assistant at UNCW.