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Candidate profile: Kevin O’Grady

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Four years ago Kevin O’Grady ran for City Council promising to clean up the downtown Wilmington’s nightlife. He says after helping do that, he’s refocused his attention on downtown.

“One of the things I’d like to achieve is a substantial green space on the river; one that we can really use not only for a public space on the river, but also to use for events,” O’Grady said. “I think we saw it last year with the azalea festival when it brought 15,000 in over two nights, and they had to stand in a parking lot.”

O’Grady and his fellow council members tried to deliver a multi-use facility to Wilmington in the form of a baseball stadium, but after 70 percent of voters shot down the proposal last fall, it was back to the drawing board.

“That was an opportunity that came to us, and when an opportunity comes, that’s when you have to strike. There may be better times for it in the future,” O’Grady said.

With the future in mind O’Grady says he sees opportunity all around Wilmington, but only if there is a philosophical shift.

“We’re going to have to go up, and we’re poised for it,” he said. “I would love to see some high-rise buildings come downtown, because it produces an enormous amount of tax for a small amount of property, and that helps keep the rates on all of our single-family homes lower.”

O’Grady says ideas like this are what he is passionate about and the reason he is asking for your vote.

“I think I have a lot still to offer the city,” O’Grady said. “I believe you don’t hide your talents, and I’ve got a lot of talent. I’m ready to use that talent, and I’m proud and I’m really honored that people let me do it for the last four years, and I’d be very honored if I could do it for another four.”

Early voting is underway and runs through Saturday. Election Day is Nov. 5.

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