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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We now know at least one candidate running for the Republican nomination for the 9th District NC Senate seat.

Five days after Thom Goolsby shocked many in the GOP by announcing he will not seek reelection a man he once defeated will run to replace him.

Wilmington lawyer Michael Lee says he will run again for the seat. Lee was the GOP nominee for the seat in 2008, but lost to incumbent Julia Boseman. He lost to Goolsby in the 2010 Republican primary.

New Hanover County Republican Party Chair Sam Ibrahim says Lee, Gov. Pat McCrory appointed to the NC Transportation Board, is a candidate that the entire 9th District can rally around.

“Michael is a great Republican, and he believes in the same principles and ideals,” Ibrahim said. “The work that has been done the last two years is extraordinary, and we really need to continue that work. We cannot go back.”

Ibrahim did say Lee could face an opponent in May’s primary but no one has come forward so far.

The filing period runs Feb. 10-28.

Sen. Goolsby told WWAY today he is putting his full support behind Lee as his replacement.

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