LANGLEY DEFEATS JONES: Commissioner will take on Kidwell in general election

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Republican Keith Kidwell and Democrat Jerry Langley will take on each other in the Nov. 6 general election to determine who will represent the 79th District in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

“We’re sitting here this evening, starting to put together our strategy on what the next move is. We’re going to attack this. The one thing I can assure you is that I will be victorious in November,” Kidwell said Tuesday night. Kidwell said his immediate plans call for a vacation — camping and visiting national Parks.

Attempts to reach Langley and Jones for comment were not immediately successful Tuesday night.

Langley, a Beaufort County commissioner, collected 3,307 votes in the district. Bryson Kiel Jones, a Craven County resident, received 1,444 votes 9. The 79th District includes all of Beaufort County and 12 precincts in the northern part of Craven County. The district, the result of the N.C. General Assembly redrawing state legislative districts, had no incumbent representative.

Langley is a veteran Beaufort County commissioner, serving several terms as chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners during his 18 years on the board. Langley, also a minister, was a deputy sheriff for 14 years, and he was a probation/parole officer for 20 years.

If Langley wins the general election, he would have to resign from the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners so he can take his seat in the General Assembly.

Kidwell garnered 4,170 votes on Tuesday’s primary. Although James Chesnutt’s name was on the Republican ballot and he received votes, Chesnutt withdrew from the primary contest in March. However, Chesnutt collected 1,167 votes. Kidwell, a Beaufort County resident, is a former chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party. Kidwell owns and operates several H&R Block offices in eastern North Carolina He was a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

All vote totals are unofficial until canvassed by the Beaufort County Board of Elections on May 18 and certified, if no election protests are filed.

Voter turnout (unofficial) in Beaufort County was 22.8 percent, lower than the 27.9-percent voter turnout in the 2014 May primary.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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