Langston launches candidacy

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chocowinity Republican Wayne Langston on Sunday announced he’d seek the GOP nomination for House District 3.

The district takes in the whole of Pamlico County, northeast Craven County and most of southern Beaufort County, except the Gilead precinct that covers Cypress Landing and other residential areas.

“This is the seat currently held by (Rep.) Norm Sanderson (R-Arapahoe) who is expected to run for (the) Senate District 2 seat of retiring Senator Jean Preston (R-Emerald Isle),” reads a statement emailed from Langston’s campaign.

A call placed to Sanderson over the weekend wasn’t returned.

Beaufort County Commissioner Robert Cayton, a Democrat, on Monday announced he’d be going after the District 3 seat.

Theoretically, this could mean Cayton and Langston won’t have to face the May 8 primary election, provided no other candidates enter the field. In that case, the two contenders would go head to head in November’s general election.

“We are in terrible trouble with our budget situation,” Langston said in his statement. “Among other things we have borrowed over two billion dollars from the federal government to fund unemployment payments with no end in sight. Northeastern North Carolina needs representation within the GOP House majority, and I aim to provide that voice.”

Langston is a real-estate management director.

This is his first run for political office.

He had announced a bid for state Senate in District 1, but withdrew from that contest when Rep. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort County, said he was vacating his House run to pursue the District 1 slot.

In his statement, Langston came out against a ferry-toll mandate approved last year by the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly.

“Sometimes our party is wrong,” he said. “I was very disappointed to see the General Assembly impose a fee structure on what are now toll-free ferry routes. I do not favor government intervention in the citizen’s right of passage on the public transportation grid. When I get to Raleigh I will work to repeal this flawed legislation.”

In an interview, Greg Dority, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, looked back on previous legislative-district bouts that included Craven and Pamlico counties.

“Historically, this matchup in the old district has been decided in Pamlico County,” Dority observed. “Both Langston and Cayton are strong candidates. This race will be one of the closest in the state, probably decided by only a couple of hundred votes.”

Dority soon added, “You’ve got to figure that Robert Cayton won’t make many mistakes in this race. Langston is a newcomer who will not be outworked by anybody. It will boil down to who makes the fewest mistakes and on voter turnout.”