- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

Candidates running in the Republican and Democratic primaries in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, based on candidate interviews, campaign web pages and campaign disclosure records. Incumbent GOPRep. Howard Coble isn’t seeking re-election.

REPUBLICANS

- Phil Berger Jr., 42, of Eden, has been the Rockingham County district attorney since election to that post in 2006. He is the son of state Senate leader Phil Berger, who has provided campaign advice for his son and even filled in for him at a recent speaking engagement. The younger Berger said he would fight “liberal overreach” in Washington and sees repeal of the health care law as a way to halt government intrusion in people’s lives. He said he’s proven his mettle while a DA by prosecuting prominent members of local families when necessary and by upholding decisions of homeowners who shot intruders in their homes in defense of family and property.

- Mike Causey, 63, of Greensboro, is coordinator of the state Department of Transportation’s “Adopt-a-Highway” program. He is a retired insurance executive and General Assembly lobbyist. He won the Republican nomination for state insurance commissioner in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2012 but failed to win in the general election. Causey, who served in the Army and North Carolina National Guard, said he would make helping veterans and their families a top priority if elected. Cutting spending and repealing the health care law - replacing it with private sector solutions - are also on his agenda.

- Kenn Kopf, 64, of Greensboro is a lawyer who works from home and Washington with clients in defense-related industries, information technology and other fields. His career included serving in the Air Force as a Russian linguist and working as a prosecutor and administrative judge. Almost all of his campaign’s money comes from his own personal loans - he said he pledged not to take contributions from special interests and not to participate in negative campaigning. He said he would work to reduce the federal corporate income tax rate, expand fossil fuel exploration for energy and push for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

- Zack Matheny, 41, of Greensboro, has been on the Greensboro City Council for six years and operates a business development consulting firm after an earlier career in textiles. He said his primary focus if elected would be about jobs, citing his experience in economic development with the city. He said he would assemble an economic development team designed to find ways to improve the district’s economic climate. Matheny said he opposed the 2012 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on grounds it would harm economic recruitment but said states should still have the authority to define marriage.

- Jeff Phillips, 51, of Greensboro, is managing partner of a wealth management firm after earlier career stops at Prudential, Paine Webber/UBS and Wachovia Securities. He ran unsuccessfully for the 6th District Republican nomination in 2010, finishing fifth in a six-candidate race. He was elected to the Guilford County commission in 2012 and led the budget committee. He said bipartisan passage of a county budget that cut spending and tax rates shows he’s got the skills to serve in Congress and help fix problems with debt and taxes.

- Charlie Sutherland, 73, of Stoneville, began a company in 1976 now called Sutherland Products in Mayodan, which sells cleaning products, including “Charlie’s Soap.” He said his children now run the company. He supports a national consumption tax, or “fair tax,” and the abolishment of the federal estate tax. Sutherland, which raised about $5,000 for the campaign through mid-April, quipped that he entered the race simply “to speak my peace, and go and play with (my) dogs. I just think it’s something that a citizen needs to do.”

- Bruce VonCannon, 60, of Greensboro, grew up in Asheboro but spent most of his working years overseas, including an early career as a tennis coach in Taiwan. He worked for 27 years in finance, finishing his career as CEO for the banking arm of the Rothschild Group in Hong Kong. VonCannon continued to vote in North Carolina while on foreign soil. He said he was a registered Democrat, like his parents, until last year but has given to Republican candidates for years. VonCannon said the election is all about economics, adding the federal debt and entitlements must be brought under control. He supports a flat income tax.

- Mark Walker, 44, of Summerfield, is an ordained minister who most recently worked as a music and worship pastor at a Guilford County Baptist church. Walker entered the race in March 2013, eight months before Coble announced his retirement decision. Walker has served on the commission that oversees operations of the Greensboro Coliseum. He says there needs to be reform of the nation’s tax code. He said the federal health care overhaul law needs to be “banished” and health care costs controlled by medical malpractice litigation reform, more generous tax credits for health savings accounts and more interstate insurance competition.

- Don Webb, 61, of High Point, is a financial adviser, member of the Piedmont Triad International Airport Authority and former chairman of the High Point Republican Party. A Naval Academy graduate, Webb points out he’s one of the few candidates in the race who served in the military and plans to bring a businesslike approach to serving in Congress if elected. He’s been endorsed by NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. Webb would seek a one-year tax holiday for U.S.-based multinational companies that are keeping profits overseas to avoid high federal taxes, saying it would funnel those funds back to the domestic economy.

DEMOCRATS

- Laura Fjeld, 59, of Hurdle Mills, was most recently vice president and general counsel for the University of North Carolina system and previously worked at North Carolina law firms. Fjeld said she would work to prioritize education spending from Washington and make sure North Carolina gets its fair share of funds for things like pre-kindergarten and research. Fjeld said she holds President Barack Obama accountable for the problems with the health care law rollout and said more work needs to be done. She sidestepped a question of whether she supports leaving the law largely in place, saying she’s about finding solutions.

- Bruce Davis, 57, of High Point, operates a child care center and served in the Marine Corps for 20 years. He’s been a member of the Guilford County commission since 2002 and its chairman in 2005. Davis was at fundraising disadvantage to Fjeld - his campaign had $6,100 in cash in mid-April compared to $134,500 for Fjeld - but said he’s relying on his experience, endorsements and meeting individual voters throughout the district. He said he wants to see the Affordable Care Act fully implemented and praised it for allowing all of his center’s employees to now have health insurance.