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Former Rival Seeking Nod For Wright's Seat

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – A man who ran at least twice against State Representative Thomas Wright says he wants to replace Wright if he leaves office.

Both Frankie Roberts and his wife Shelia ran against Wright in the 2006 election, when he stepped in to replace his wife.

Roberts also ran against Wright in 2004. Both times Roberts ran as a Republican. And now he says he's Democrat.

Roberts says New Hanover Democrats should welcome him back into the fold and select him to replace Wright, despite his past campaigning as a Republican.

We received very little money from anyone, but even as a republican we always did what was right, we kept integrity at the forefront and we will continue to do that.

Roberts says he will be the voice of the district's minority community in Raleigh, even if the district changes.

Last August the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the 18th House District violates the state's constitution.

Roberts says he will work for all of his constituents.

It's not about the seat or the person, but it's about service to the community of the individual that occupies that seat. And I think that's what people really want to see.

Roberts runs a non-profit that helps ex-offenders,and it receives state funding. To avoid a conflict of interest Roberts says he'll resign if democrats choose him to serve the 18th House District.

He says if Wright's seat opens up and he is not picked as the replacement, then he will run for the seat in the next election as a democrat.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@whqr.org.