04/04/08 — John Kerr officially endorses Ed Wilson

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John Kerr officially endorses Ed Wilson

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on April 4, 2008 1:45 PM

With a crowded field looking to take his place in the state Senate, John Kerr announced this week that he is endorsing fellow Wayne County Democrat Dr. Ed Wilson for his District 5 seat.

Kerr, who is retiring after 20 years in the General Assembly, chose to back Wilson over any of the other six candidates -- five Democrats and one Republican.

"Ed Wilson is the best choice to take my place," Kerr said. "Ed has never asked me to say anything about it, but I think he's the type of person we need in Raleigh."

Wilson, who has never held an elected office and is running against several former legislators, served as president of Wayne Community College for 15 years before retiring in June 2007 -- three years after being named the state community college system's President of the Year in 2004.

He also has served on the Wayne County Development Alliance board, as well as on Wayne County Chamber of Commerce board, the United Way of Wayne County board and the local Military Affairs Committee, receiving the Cornerstone Award from the chamber and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the state.

"He's honest and hard working and the right person for this district," Kerr said. "I think this is a unique opportunity for us to elect someone with his ability and knowledge.

"I believe we'd be very fortunate for him to represent us in Raleigh."

Wilson is one of only two candidates from Wayne County running for the seat, which includes all of Greene and part of Pitt counties. But, Kerr said, that only played a small part in his decision.

"I know all of them and I think all of our people are good, but in my opinion we ought to go with the person we know best. He is someone from eastern North Carolina. He knows the values of eastern North Carolina and the work ethic of eastern North Carolina," Kerr said.

Most important, though, he continued, "(Wilson) has shown he can lead, and he has been recognized by the state for his leadership.

"There are a lot of things happening and a lot of issues on the table, and he's the kind of person who will roll up his sleeves and get to work. He's the kind of person who gets the job done."

Also running for the Democratic nomination are, director of North Carolinians for Affordable Health Care Chuck Stone of Goldsboro, state Board of Education member Kathy Taft of Greenville, former state Rep. Charles Johnson of Greenville, former state Sen. Tony Moore of Winterville, and Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis. State Rep. Louis Pate of Mount Olive is the only Republican to file for the seat.

"Obviously I am very pleased that Sen. Kerr would endorse my candidacy," Wilson said. "He's been a great representative for eastern North Carolina and our district, and I hope to continue in the many traditions he has established."