BURGAW -- Five people came forward Thursday night in hopes of filling Thomas Wright's seat in the State House of Representatives. They had eight minutes to speak and three minutes for follow-up remarks. After a two-hour meeting and only a few minutes of debate between a four-person Executive Committee, three votes went to former Wilmington City Council member Sandra Spaulding Hughes and one went to former Wilmington Mayor Harper Peterson. Spaulding Hughes has filed to run for Wright's seat in the May primary. "I would see it as a boost to get a head start. It's going to be a lot of work for my team but I think we can do it," she said. Spaulding Hughes said, "I was surprised, but with my involvement in the community and having support and also my volunteerism in the community, I guess that I had a lot of recognition of achievement." Hollis Briggs, Jr. has also filed to run for Wright's seat and said he'll be right back on the campaign trail. "I don't think it's any advantage. The people now have to decide and there's a lot more people than four." Spaulding Hughes told fellow Democrats the past is the past and she's now looking forward to the future. She said, "It is now time to move forward centered on the needs and issues of the citizens of the 18th district. A new vision that requires the right person. I would like to be that person." She will hold that seat at least until January, even if she should lose the May primary or the November general election. The winner of that election isn't sworn in until January.
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