02/24/12 — Wayne County resident will file for governor

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Wayne County resident will file for governor

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 24, 2012 1:46 PM

Paul Wright

Wayne County resident Paul Wright announced Thursday his plans to run for the GOP nomination for governor. Wright, who lives outside of Mount Olive, said he planned to formally file his paperwork at the state Board of Elections office this morning.

In a press release announcing his candidacy, he said his goal is to be a champion of the middle class, "who face more impoverishment economically and the continued demise of their political and constitutional rights."

"That's sort of my theme -- to empower the middle class," he said.

In his prepared statement, he said is running on a three-pronged platform.

The first issue, is "more resistance to ObamaCare, including a constitutional amendment" similar to one passed by public referendum in Ohio last November rejecting the legislation's health insurance mandates.

The second is to give voters in each county "the option of exchanging property tax on their homes to another form of tax." Again, he pointed to another state as an example -- this time, North Dakota, where residents will vote on such a measure in June.

The difference between that proposal and his, though, he explained, is that while North Dakota lawmakers are not proposing a replacement source of revenue, he believes such a model would likely be unrealistic in North Carolina.

His third issue is "tax relief to be given to parents of school children by way of a deduction for educational expenses." Such a deduction under his plan would give to families with children in all schools, whether public, private, parochial or home -- similar to the tax rules in Louisiana.

Wright was born in Buncombe County and raised in Haywood County, graduating from Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville. He received his bachelor's degree from Wheaton College and juris doctorate from Duke Law School in 1975.

He was appointed assistant district attorney for the Eighth District of North Carolina, while also working as college law instructor at Fayetteville State University from 1975 to 1978.

He was then appointed to district court judge seat for Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties. During his tenure from 1978 to 1984 he also held special court sessions in other districts. He was then elected superior court judge and served from 1984 to 1999, retiring after 22 years of service in the state court system. He also ran for, but lost a bid for a seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1982.

Currently Wright is a trial attorney focusing on personal injury, wrongful death and criminal defense. He is the father of six children, is a member of the Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce and attends Unity Baptist Church.