‘The One’ will run for office

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gagliano seeks seat on commission

There will be a Republican primary in the Beaufort County commissioners race, thanks to a man who’s campaign slogan is “Rick’s the One.”

Rick Gagliano of Washington filed Tuesday to run for one of four available seats on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

This brings to five the number of Republicans who have filed to vie for these four positions, making their candidacies official in paperwork on file with the Beaufort County Board of Elections.

Officially, the other GOP candidates are incumbent Hood Richardson of Washington, Tony “T.J.” Keech of the Washington area, incumbent Jay McRoy of Chocowinity and Donald Dixon of Washington.

One other candidate, Larry Britt of Blount’s Creek, had announced his intention to file, but hadn’t done so as of Tuesday afternoon.

Gagliano is a former candidate for Washington mayor and City Council.

He garnered 10.29 percent of the vote, or 489 votes, in the 2011 municipal election, but didn’t win a seat on the council.

Gagliano has never held public office, but has served as vice chairman of the city’s Human Relations Council, a council-appointed body.

He said he was a Democrat for years, but became disenchanted with the party.

“I changed because I saw the government spending too much, building bigger budgets without regard to paying back what the citizens of Beaufort County have to pay back,” he said. “You can’t spend more than you make and prosper.”

Though he’ll be campaigning on a much larger scale this year than during his city campaigns, Gagliano made it clear he plans to work pretty much the same way in his travels across the county. He said he will go door to door, house to house, shaking people’s hands and sounding them out on the issues.

“I go out, walking the neighborhoods, meeting the people,” he said. “A lot of people share my views that we need a change, we need a new direction to help Beaufort County. That means jobs, more jobs, spending less in the budget and prosperity for the people.”

Asked to define the major issues the county is facing, he highlighted “employment, taxes and the ferry issue.” This last point refers to a state legislative mandate raising ferry tolls on some routes and imposing tolls where none currently exist, including the Aurora-Bayview route in eastern Beaufort County.

“I think the ferries are an extension of the highways that we pay for already,” he said, adding he’d oppose the imposition of ferry tolls in the future.

Gagliano is a retired orthopedic prosthetist residing wife his wife, Linda Gagliano, a retired registered nurse. He is second vice chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party.