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Meet the candidates in High Point’s mayoral race

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point's downtown has been a beacon for the furniture industry for decades, but over time, the area outside the polished furniture district has declined.

The two candidates for High Point's new mayor, Jay Wagner and Bruce Davis, both believe a multi-purpose baseball stadium could be the answer to turn that area around.

"If you have one part of your city that's sick, you need to fix it for the health of the whole city," Wagner said.

Wagner has served on city council for the past five years.

"I think it's good for economic development, it's good for growth," Davis said. "The millennials, we want to keep our young people, we want to build a place where they can hang out, socialize, meet one another."

Davis is a former Guilford County Commissioner.

Both Wagner and Davis have been heavily involved in the High Point community for decades.

Over the years, High Point has seen an increase in crime, gang violence and drug addiction, something both candidates are taking seriously.

"Violence is a cancer and I believe if you allow any violence to spread, just like any cancer, eventually it's gonna spread over into the rest of our city," Davis said. Davis believes we need more conversations between police and the community.

Wagner thinks you can't truly address these issues effectively without turning around the city economically first.

"To address all of these issues, the opioids, the safety issues, the blight, how are we gonna pay for dealing with those when we have a very flat tax base, that we're trying to achieve revenue with?" Wagner said, saying it all circles back to the stadium proposal, allowing the city to start gaining property value and revenue in that area, instead of the decades of loss.

Both candidates believe economic growth doesn't start and end with the stadium project. Both Wagner and Davis are in support of giving entrepreneurs more resources to start business in High Point and giving current small businesses the tools they need to grow and expand.

Election day is Dec. 7.