12/17/07 — Moore files for chance to serve 5th District

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Moore files for chance to serve 5th District

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on December 17, 2007 1:46 PM

The field of candidates looking to take over state Sen. John Kerr's District 5 seat is quickly getting crowded, with former Sen. Tony Moore of Pitt County just the latest to wade in.

"I'm leaning that direction," Moore said. "I had told John that I wasn't going to run against him. He's a fellow Democrat, and I didn't feel I should run against an incumbent.

"But then I saw he's not running again, so I decided to look into it, and I'm certainly considering it."

Kerr, D-Wayne, announced his retirement just over a week ago after more than two decades in the state legislature -- eight terms in the Senate and three in the House.

Moore, the owner and president of North Carolina Driving School Inc., is the only one of the potential candidates so far to have served in the state legislature.

He spent one term in the Senate from 2002 to 2004 representing Pitt and Wilson counties as a Democrat.

In 2004, however, after the General Assembly's redistricting plan left Kerr and Moore in the same district, Moore ran against him as Republican. The change in parties, he explained, was something of a protest move after the newly drawn district maps were not made immediately available to the public.

He lost by nearly 8,000 votes, and has been anxious to get back into the legislature ever since.

"Now's the time," he said.

And now he's back in the Democratic Party.

Moore, 57, is running based on his experience in the legislature where he served on the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, the Professional Review Committee for the State Board of Education and the N.C. Study Commission on Aging.

Education and the elderly are his top priorities.

He has 19 years experience in the Pitt County School System as a teacher and coach, and has personal experience with the state's nursing home industry through his care for his mother.

In his hometown of Winterville, Moore also has served three years as the public works supervisor and on the town Board of Alderman.

"I've been involved in politics for 35 years," he said. "I feel my experience would be beneficial in service to the district's needs. It's about wanting to serve the public.

"It's an opportunity to serve people with good, honest government, which is what the General Assembly needs."

He also said that just because he's from Pitt County, that doesn't mean he will neglect Wayne County's needs.

"If I file, I will open an office in Goldsboro," he said. "When I was in the senate before, I spent as much time in Wilson as I did in Pitt, and I'll do the same with Wayne."

Also announced as potential candidates for the seat are Snow Hill Mayor Donald Davis, retired Wayne Community College President Dr. Ed Wilson and state Board of Education member Kathy Taft. All are Democrats.