03/01/12 — Dixon files to keep his District 4 seat

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Dixon files to keep his District 4 seat

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

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N.C. Rep. Jimmy Dixon

State Rep. Jimmy Dixon declared last week his intention to run for re-election to his House District 4 seat -- officially putting him in competition with state Rep. Efton Sager for the Republican nomination.

The two were put in the same district last year when the General Assembly redrew the state's district lines following the 2010 Census. Currently, Sager represents District 11.

Dixon, who won his first term in 2010, said the reason he's running is simple -- he believes there's still work to be done in Raleigh.

"I thought we had a very successful long session. We made a good start," he said. "But the restoration of principles that we need is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and when I was originally talked to about running, I indicated that I felt like I could commit to three terms, and I still feel that way."

And that, he said, is why he thinks he should be the GOP nominee over Sager.

"Rep. Sager and I are very good friends. We have been and we will be after this is over with. But I feel that I am the better-qualified candidate because I have a better vision and better ability to combine our efforts with other eastern North Carolina districts," Dixon said. "Rep. Sager has indicated this is probably his last term. I'm saying I'm willing to go two or three additional terms. If I'm elected, I will have be there to establish a base for future relationships and efforts. If Rep. Sager wins, we'll have to start all over again in two years with a new representative."

Speaking to Wayne County voters, he said he hopes the fact that he lives in Duplin County won't affect how people cast their ballots.

"My priority will be to carry the voice of the voters of Wayne and Duplin counties with other eastern North Carolina voices and votes to get a seat at the table for eastern North Carolina to be properly represented. We've lost representation in the east, so we must combine our efforts east of I-95, and the partnership that can be developed between Wayne and Duplin counties has a great potential," he said. "If we properly combine our agricultural communities and the military community and the business community of Wayne County, we can get a seat at the table. Our message is simple -- food and freedom, agriculture and military.

"Residence of a representative should be a non-factor. I live in Calypso -- one-tenth of a mile from Wayne County. There are factors greater than residence to be concerned about, such as lower taxes and fewer regulations. Those are the primary things that people vote for, not where a person lives."

But aside from his focus on the needs of the district and eastern North Carolina, Dixon, who makes his living as a poultry and vegetable farmer, said his top priority will be to continue to help keep the state on fiscally responsible path -- something he is proud the Legislature started during the last session.

"The budget we passed had a little bit of pain for a lot of agencies, but it was responsible and in line with what we could afford," he said. "I believe that we have not had a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. We must re-prioritize how we spend our revenue, and on the top of that list is public safety and the education of our children -- public education, K through 12."

And in terms of the latter, he said much of what has been done in the recent past has not produced the desired results and that he wants to put more control and responsibility for students back in the hands of teachers, while also rewarding those who are doing a good job.

Finally, he said, he also wants to continue the regulatory reform efforts begun during the last session -- requiring state agencies to not exceed federal standards, while also assessing the cost of any new regulations.

"We have only begun," he said.