12/10/07 — Ed Wilson will run for Senate seat

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Ed Wilson will run for Senate seat

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 10, 2007 2:10 PM

Former Wayne Community College President Ed Wilson has announced he will run for the District 5 seat in the state Senate.

Longtime incumbent John Kerr announced last week he would not seek re-election to a ninth term. Wilson said he decided to run at the urging of a number of friends, including Kerr.

Wilson, 63, who served as president of the college for 15 years, is the son of a former legislator. His father represented Caswell County in the General Assembly for five terms in the 1950s.

Wilson said that if elected he believes his experience in both education and economic development will benefit the county. While at WCC, he served on the county's Economic Develop-ment Commission, now called the Wayne County Develop-ment Alliance.

"Since John announced he was retiring, I decided we needed somebody from Wayne County in Raleigh," Wilson said this morning.

He will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat. Senatorial terms are two years.

Wilson retired in June as president of the college. He was named the state community college system's President of the Year in 2004.

This is his first foray into politics. He said he had considered politics at various points in his life, but that his career in education precluded his involvement.

In addition to his work with economic development, Wilson served with the county Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the Wayne County Community Foundation and the local Military Affairs Committee.

He has received the Cornerstone Award from the chamber of commerce and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the state.

He has been recognized as an Outstanding Graduate of N.C. State University's School of Education and Psychology and its Department of Adult Education and Community College Administration.

Wilson conceded his lack of experience in the political arena but said he hopes to get his campaign off and running "pretty quickly."

"Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done to get started," he said.

Wilson said his family supports his decision and that although he was enjoying retirement, he feels ready to take on the challenge.

He and his wife, Sue, have two children and five grandchildren.

He lauded Kerr for his years of carrying the ball for Wayne County in the legislature and said he will have big shoes to fill.

"The people of the 5th District owe John Kerr a huge debt of gratitude for the many years of service he gave to the district and to eastern North Carolina," Wilson said. "He has battled hard for economic development of our region. He has worked hard for water and sewer, roads, education and jobs to keep our young people in our region and improve the quality of life for everyone.

"I pledge to continue this work. I believe that my experience in education and economic and workforce development and my knowledge of the legislative process that came from working directly with the legislature for nearly 10 years position me to be an effective voice for the 5th District and all of eastern North Carolina."

Wilson cited the next round of redistricting as a major reason that he believes Wayne needs its own voice in the legislature. The district includes the eastern half of Wayne, all of Greene and a portion of Pitt County.

Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis also has announced that he will run for the seat.