Britt steps into the fray

Published 1:51 am Sunday, January 22, 2012

A former chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party has made public his intention to run for county commissioner.
“Having been involved in Beaufort County politics for almost ten years, I believe that I have acquired the knowledge and experience to help make some needed changes in existing programs and further the direction of our County,” Larry Britt conveyed in an emailed statement.
Britt, local GOP chairman from 2009-2010, plans to make more public pronouncements about his candidacy Thursday during the Beaufort County Republican Club’s next meeting in Chocowinity.
In a follow-up interview, the Blount’s Creek real-estate broker emphasized he isn’t running against anyone, but is pursuing a seat on a board he wants to make more open and receptive to the public.
Asked for a specific example that would emphasize his point, Britt focused on a Thursday-night public meeting held in Washington. The N.C. Department of Transportation called the meeting to garner public input on ferry toll increases mandated by the N.C. General Assembly.
Legislation approved by lawmakers last year would impose toll increases on some routes and institute tolls on presently free trips, including the Aurora-Bayview trek over the Pamlico River.
Three members of the seven-member board of commissioners attended the meeting, Britt pointed out.
“I just cannot understand why there weren’t seven commissioners there because that really affects Beaufort County,” he said.
In his emailed statement, Britt declined to engage in direct criticism of the board.
“Our Commissioners have done a good job over the last few years when you consider the diverse make up of the Board,” he wrote. “However, as with all organizations, over time, some change is needed. New ideas and a fresh way of seeing the needs of our community are important as we understand the unique problems and opportunities that exist.”
Britt resides on Blount’s Creek with his wife, Jackie.
Four seats are up on the county board.
The incumbent commissioners who must seek re-election or surrender their posts are Democrats Jerry Langley and Robert Cayton and Republicans Jay McRoy and Hood Richardson.
Langley and Richardson have confirmed they’re running.
Cayton hasn’t announced his intentions.
McRoy would neither confirm nor deny reports he may run again.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he told the Washington Daily News on Saturday.
Republican Tony Keech, a probation and parole officer who resides in the Washington area, has said he intends to try for a seat on the board.
The filing period for North Carolina offices begins Feb. 13 and ends Feb. 29.
Greg Dority, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, indicated there may be a crowded GOP-commissioner-candidate field going into the May 8 primary election.
“We anticipate a very large Republican county commissioner primary field,” Dority said. “There will be many conservatives running in this race to help drive the vote both in the primary and November. Larry’s a former chairman, a strong candidate and I believe he has a good chance of winning what we expect will be an open seat.”
Attempts to learn more about possible Democratic contenders for these county offices proved unsuccessful.