07/15/12 — Dixon to face a new Dem in House battle

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Dixon to face a new Dem in House battle

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 15, 2012 1:50 AM

A new Democratic candidate has stepped up to run against Re-publican Rep. Jimmy Dixon in the state House District 4 race.

The need for a new challenger occurred when Delores Kennedy, the original Democratic candidate, pulled out of the race shortly after Dixon won his primary against Rep. Efton Sager.

Kennedy, who had faced no opposition in the May 8 primary, turned in her letter of withdrawal to the state Board of Elections on May 18. No reason was given, said Don Davis, 1st Congressional District Democratic Party spokesman, other than that she had made her decision "after careful consideration." Ms. Kennedy could not be reached for further comment.

Davis explained, though, that once her withdrawal letter was turned in, the members of the N.C. House District 4 Executive Committee began the process of searching for a new candidate -- one that ended Wednesday when Rebecca Judge was appointed to run in her place.

"Mrs. Judge is well-known in the Duplin County area and she has many contacts here in Wayne County. We just felt like she would be an outstanding and formidable candidate," committee member and Wayne County resident Bronnie Quinn said.

Quinn would not say how many potential candidates the committee, which also included Ralph Smiley of Wayne County, as well as Charles Ingram and Bob Kornegay of Duplin County, considered, but he did note that several were from Wayne County.

In the end, though, he said that after meeting three times to evaluate the candidates, they decided that Mrs. Judge gave the Democrats the best chance to win.

"We wanted someone who knows the community and who the community knows," he said.

For Mrs. Judge, who lives in Beaulaville, this is not her first foray into politics. In 2006, she ran for the Duplin County Board of Commissioners in District 3, losing the Democratic primary to incumbent Arliss Albertson.

The former real estate broker and mental health nurse, now retired since 1995, said, though, that she decided to get back into politics after being approached about taking Ms. Kennedy's spot -- and after much thought.

"I was approached and took quite a bit of time to think it over, and finally I said, 'Yes, I'll do it,'" Mrs. Judge, 77, said. "I am a person who has always believed in service to my community, my county and my state. I've always been in service to mankind, and I feel the political climate in North Carolina -- and in Washington (D.C.) -- needs a change.

"We need to stop putting politics above people. I think it's important that we put people first and do what's best for people. That's why I decided to get into this race -- to see what I can do to help."