Johnston County School Board Chairman Larry Strickland says he was honored and humbled by supporters who selected him as the Republican candidate for the NC House District 28 race on Tuesday. Strickland defeated Johnston County Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell by 843 votes in unofficial returns. The voters will be certified next week and an official total announced. Braswell says the race will be his last as he now plans to retire from public service by the end of the year.
“I am honored and humbled by the outcome of Tuesday’s election,” Strickland said. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me and supported my candidacy, especially my hard-working volunteers and those who generously contributed to my campaign. I’m also very proud of the positive campaign we ran. From the beginning we promised to run with honor and integrity, and we did.”
“I especially want to thank Representative J.H. Langdon for his friendship, his endorsement, and his continued service to our county, our district, and our state. It is a real honor to be the Republican nominee to succeed Rep. Langdon in the North Carolina House.”
“Finally, I want to commend Commissioner Tony Braswell for the spirited campaign he ran and for having the courage to step forward to run for this House seat. Commissioner Braswell was a worthy opponent and I remain appreciative of his service on our County Commission.”
“I am looking forward to the fall campaign, where we will continue to spread our positive message across House District 28. I am confident that our message of smart economic development, a stronger educational system, better roads, and lower taxes will continue to resonate with the voters. The future is bright for Johnston County and our great state.”
Strickland will face the winner of the Democratic primary, which is still too close to call. After the votes were counted Tuesday night, Patricia Oliver of Selma led Jimmie Massengill of Four Oaks by only 11 votes. However, several hundred provisional ballots were cast and those provisional numbers will not be certified and included in the vote total until 5:00pm Monday, March 21st.
Commissioner Chairman Braswell said the NC House race would be his last run for political office.
“It was a hard election and it took its toll on me and my family. In the end the voters spoke and I respect that and I look forward to completing my final months of service as chairman of the Johnston County Commissioners providing a better way of life for the citizens. I want to thank the many voters that voted for me and all the individuals that donated and worked tirelessly for this campaign,” Braswell said Friday afternoon.
“I do not think either one of us should be proud of the level and directions either campaign was conducted and for my part I apologize to the citizens for allowing it to get to that level. It is the responsibility of the candidate to monitor the actions of staff and others to make sure we meet a high standard for the message we want to send. Having said that, I would encourage all candidates, all political parties, to give the voters the opportunity to learn about the issues that would be the most important to them instead of what we saw in this race.”
“After completing my term in November I plan to retire from public service. History will judge how effective I was in my different elected capacities, but I am honored and proud of my service.”