Portman lives in District 4 – running county wide at large
Democrat Erv Portman, 57, a Cary businessman, has been a Wake commissioner and a Cary Town Council member and seeks to return to the board representing a southern/central portion of the county. He is a partner with his wife in WestStar Precision, which makes products for the aerospace and medical fields. Portman would be comfortable with his pro-public education, pro-environmental protection, careful growth positions with the other progressives on the commissioners. He’s a smart, engaging person who seems open to the ideas of those who may disagree with him on some issues.
And Portman’s public service has been marked by his outreach to constituents, something he could be expected to continue as a commissioner.
Republican Kenn Gardner, 58, served from 2000-2008 as a Wake commissioner, and also has made an unsuccessful run for North Carolina secretary of state. Gardner’s a pretty mainstream conservative, a reasonable enough voice in debate. He’s an architect and lives in Raleigh. That he previously served multiple terms on the board may indicate he looked after constituents’ interests, which is good. But the current group of commissioners has momentum in terms of making Wake a more progressive, active, imaginative (bike trails, public transit) kind of place. We believe Portman would be inclined to be part of that movement.