North Carolina Sen. Brent Jackson, the three-term senator representing District 10 (Sampson, Duplin and Johnston), is seeking a fourth, filing at the Sampson County Board of Elections on Thursday.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 10th district in the North Carolina Senate over the past five years,” Jackson stated. “I am proud of the reforms we have enacted since taking the majority in 2011 and I hope to have the opportunity to continue that work for another two years,” Jackson stated.
He said he first ran because he felt agricultural and rural areas of North Carolina were being left behind. He has made it his mission to combat that. A lifelong Autryville resident and owner of Jackson Farming Company, Jackson said he is proud of GOP-led initiatives that he feels have changed the state for the better.
“We have made great strides in transforming our tax code, Medicaid system and agricultural policy, while holding down spending, reducing our debt and bolstering our Rainy Day Fund,” the senator said.
However, there is more that needs to be accomplished and Jackson wants to see that the work continues.
“There is still work to be done,” he noted, “and I would be humbled to continue to serve the people of Duplin, Johnston and Sampson counties in the Senate.”
Jackson was born in Sampson County and lives in Autryville with Debbie, his wife of nearly 37 years. He is active in his church, Union Grove Baptist Church, and is the father of three sons and grandfather of three.
Jackson and wife Debbie are first generation farmers and have been involved in agriculture for over three decades, having co-founded Jackson Farming Company of Autryville, which grows watermelons, cantaloupes and other produce and vegetables, along with grain commodities and flue-cured tobacco. Brent Jackson serves as president and CEO of the family operation.
Jackson was elected to the North Carolina State Senate in November 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2014.
Among his numerous duties in the N.C. General Assembly, he is the co-founder of the Agriculture and Rural Caucus of the NCGA and was elected to the Legislative Board of the international organization State Agriculture and Rural Leaders in January 2014.
Additionally, he is the co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee and vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources, while also serving on the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Commerce Committee, Senate Judiciary I Committee and Senate State and Local Government Committee.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received during my time in the Senate,” said Jackson, “and I would appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we move into the next election cycle.”
Viser to step down
“After eight years of serving on the Clinton City Board of Education, I have decided not to seek re-election in the coming local elections in March. I am profoundly grateful to the people of Clinton for the chance to serve and to strengthen our school district.”
The city schools are “thriving,” said Viser, who attributed the success to faculty, staff and a forward-thinking administration. She urged citizens to stay involved in the voting process.
“I encourage the citizenry of this community to take its role in assembling the Clinton City Schools Board of Education seriously,” Viser stated. “Some of us are voters, some are candidates and some take office. Each role is vital to the future of the district.”
The filing period for the March 15, 2016, election began this week. Filing ends Dec. 21.
Through Thursday afternoon, Larry M. Bell and William D. Brisson had also filed for re-election to their respective 21st district and 22nd district seats in the N.C. House. In local races, Eugene Pearsall filed for election to the Sampson County Board of Education, while Eleanor Bradshaw filed for re-election at the Sampson County Register of Deeds.
Other terms expiring in 2016 include those of U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, as well as U.S. Congressman David Rouzer (7th district). Locally, the terms of county commissioners Billy Lockamy (2nd district) and Harry Parker (4th district) will also expire as will three seats on each of the local school boards.
Along with Viser, the terms of Clinton City Board of Education members Kathleen Squibb and E.R. Mason are expiring. For the Sampson County Board of Education, the terms of Faye Gay, Glenn Tart and E. Sonya Powell are coming to a close. Tart has already announced he will not seek another term.
Why so early
North Carolina officially launched its 2016 campaign season Tuesday as candidates filed to appear on ballots in March, moving the state’s traditional primaries up by two months to have more influence on the presidential nominations.
The 2016 ballot includes a threesome that happens only once every 12 years in the state: elections for president, U.S. Senate and governor. The legislature decided in 2013 to move the 2016 presidential primary from its traditional May primary date to give North Carolina a greater say-so in choosing nominees.
Legislative Republicans then decided in September to hold all primaries on the same date, rather than suffer low turnouts during a separate non-presidential primary. Having one March primary is expected to boost turnout and kick-start campaigns sooner than they would begin otherwise.
Barring a court intervention, the primary also will be the first time photo identification is required to vote in person, under a law approved mostly along party lines by the Republican-controlled legislature.
Other changes already being implemented have reduced the number of early voting days, barred same-day registration during the early-voting period and prohibited counting ballots cast on Election Day in precincts that don’t match registration information. Several lawsuits argue that the changes are designed to suppress voting, especially among minority groups.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.