03/13/12 — Democrat files for District 5 Senate seat

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Democrat files for District 5 Senate seat

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on March 13, 2012 1:46 PM

Tony Moore

Former state Sen. Tony Moore of Winterville is trying once again to get back to Raleigh, having filed to run in the Democratic primary for the District 5 seat.

Moore, who is on the Winterville Town Council, spent one term in the Senate from 2002-04 representing Pitt and Wilson counties as a Democrat. In 2004, though, redistricting forced him into the same district as retired Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne, whom he ran against as a Republican and lost. He then lost a bid to replace Kerr in 2008, losing to former state Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene.

Now, with the current District 5 senator, Louis Pate, R-Wayne, having been redistricted into a new District 7, the majority minority seat is open. And with District 5 encompassing parts of Wayne, Lenoir and Pitt counties, as well as all of Greene, Moore and Davis are set to face off once again.

This time, though, Moore believes the outcome will be different.

In 2008, he explained, he was one of six candidates in the Democratic primary, and he believes that many of those supporting the other four candidates would have backed him over Davis had the electorate not been so split.

"With six candidates, that was tough. I didn't want to be in that position again," he said.

So, he explained, that was why he waited until near the end of the filing period to make his decision.

"I was hoping a good candidate would run and I didn't see one," he said. "I wanted to give somebody else a chance, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity.

He explained he is running on his 36 years of education and 22 years of business experience, as well as his political experience with four terms on the Winterville Town Council and one in the state Senate.

"During my time, I brought back more to my district than ever," he said, highlighting his efforts on such programs as the East Carolina University heart center as one example.

And, he said, his opponent is not cut out for the job, pointing to legislation Davis sponsored during his term, including a bill that restricted puppy mills, and to Snow Hill's 2010 financial troubles and the threat of a state takeover over its low fund balance, which, he said, were rooted in decisions made when Davis was mayor, despite the fact he was a state senator at the time.

If elected, he said his focus would be on the state's education system, keeping a good balanced budget, and on ensuring that eastern North Carolina received its fair share of state resources, referencing Department of Transportation funding specifically.

In particular, he said he would work toward four-laning U.S. 13 between Goldsboro and Greenville.

"That would help with our growth," Moore said.