Stan Bingham, who has been one of a few leaders in the campaign for the State to take over Alcoa's Yadkin Project, faces two challengers in the Republican primary for the State Senate District 33 seat. Eddie Gallimore, until recently the vice chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, and Sam Watford, Chair of the Davidson County Board of Commissioners, both favor relicensing Alcoa.
Gallimore stated, “First of all, they [Alcoa] bought and paid for the right to have the land and use of it,” he said. “They own the dams. With the investment they made, they should be able to be relicensed to produce hydroelectricity from their dams. It would be unconstitutional for the state to come in and take over that private company's rights and their property.”
Watford explained, “That's the only issue I have with the incumbent candidate — truly. If I am elected, I will do all I can with my limited powers I know to help Alcoa get their 401 water quality permits and license through the (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)."
Watford said previous discussions of a state takeover of the Alcoa properties has hurt recruitment of new industries because of fear the state could take ownership of other businesses. “I just don't believe the state should take over the operation of any company. That is so far out of my fundamental way of thinking that I can't even see it,” Watford added.