By Colin Campbell
The News & Observer
RALEIGH, NC (THE NEWS & OBSERVER) — One day after new redistricting maps put Johnston County in the 7th Congressional District, N.C. Sen. David Rouzer of McGee’s Crossroads announced Wednesday that he’ll run for the seat in 2012.
Rouzer won’t be challenging his area’s current Congresswoman, fellow Republican Renee Ellmers of Dunn. Under the maps released Tuesday, Ellmers’ 2nd District would extend west from her Harnett County home into Lee, Moore, Chatham and Randolph counties.
Rouzer wants to represent the district extending southeast from his Johnston County home, covering Sampson, Duplin, Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick and New Hanover counties. He’ll face Ilario Pantano of Wilmington, the former U.S. Marine who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre in 2010. Pantano months ago announced his plans to run again, long before the new district maps were released.
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HERE IS THE NEWS RELEASE HIS CAMPAIGN ISSUED:
RALEIGH – State Senator David Rouzer announced today that he will seek election to the U.S. Congress in the newly formed 7th Congressional District. Under the newly released Congressional redistricting maps, the 7th District, currently held by Congressman Mike McIntyre, will include Johnston County and the counties south of Johnston as you travel I-40 east, ending with portions of New Hanover and Pender counties.
“The federal government has steered our country on a dangerous course and everyone knows it,” said Senator David Rouzer. “The choices we make moving forward will determine whether we remain the beacon of freedom in the world with economic prosperity at home or become a third-rate nation. We will determine whether our children and grandchildren live the American dream or whether they will be asking us what it was once like to live in America.”
“The only way to reform our federal government and regain our foothold for the future is to remove the shackles of taxation and burdensome regulation that have put millions of people out of work. We must return to the Founding principles of free enterprise and self-reliance that made this country an economic power and the envy of the world,” added Rouzer. “To do this we must elect members of Congress who have proven themselves to be common-sense conservative leaders. My conservative record in the state legislature and the relationships built from years of work with many of the citizens and the major industries throughout the 7th District make this a natural move.”
Rouzer currently represents Johnston and Wayne counties in the North Carolina Senate where he serves as Co-Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee, the Natural and Economic Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Joint Regulatory Reform Committee. In that capacity Rouzer was a leader in the effort to reform the state’s regulatory agencies and halt new regulations that would be a hindrance to small businesses and job creation.
Before his election to the state Senate, he served as a top advisor to U.S. Senators Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole and was instrumental in getting a tobacco buyout that has been so important for our state. Rouzer also served as a senior level presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Among those already supporting Rouzer’s bid for Congress are Mrs. Jesse Helms, former U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth, N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, former State Senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Fred Smith, State Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County, State Sen. Thom Goolsby of New Hanover County, State Sen. Wesley Meredith of Cumberland County, State Sen. Brent Jackson of Sampson County, N.C Rep. J.H. Langdon of Johnston County, Bill Prestage of Sampson County, and Dial Gray and Frank Grainger of Columbus County.
Note: The 7th Congressional District includes Johnston, Sampson, Duplin, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, Columbus, Bladen, Brunswick, Pender, New Hanover, and Lenoir counties.