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Dems Will Meet to Replace Wright

By Megan V. Williams

Wilmington, NC – The North Carolina Democratic Party is moving to find a replacement to fill out the term of expelled State Representative Thomas Wright.

A four-member panel of local party officials will make their selection April 3rd at a public meeting in Burgaw. Two New Hanover County Democrats - former Wilmington City Council member Sandra Spaulding Hughes and community activist Hollis Briggs - have already filed to run for Wright's seat in the primary election. But Melvin Williams, the official overseeing the replacement process, says the committee is free to choose anyone.

"There has been more rumors than direct candidates. No candidates have actually contacted me yet."

Briggs says he intends to seek the replacement nomination, but criticized the party for going through a nomination process instead of waiting until after the May 6th primary and simply installing the winner.

"Let the people chose the replacement," Briggs said, "It's not going to be any consistency. Supposing Ms. Hughes the appointment and I win the election that doesn't make any sense."

Hughes did not return calls Friday afternoon.

Williams said the Burgaw was selected as the meeting site to remind the public that part of the district is in Pender County. Of the four Democratic officials selecting the fill-in, James Faison Jr. and Burgaw mayor Pete Cowan represent Pender County. Reese Smith and Lynn McIntyre make up the New Hanover side.

Former representative Wright became the first lawmaker expelled from the General Assembly in 128 years when the House voted for his removal Thursday. Wright faces six felony corruption charges, but is running for reelection.


Meeting to fill North Carolina's 18th House District:

Thursday, April 3rd - 7pm
Pender County Courthouse Annex
100 S. Dickerson St, Burgaw
Open to the public and any registered Democrats interested in the nomination