ROCKINGHAM — Ben Moss will be heading back to Raleigh to represent Richmond County — and now part of Moore County.
Moss, R-Richmond, defeated Moore County Rep. Jamie Boles in the Republican primary for the N.C. House of Representatives District 52 seat with 53% of the vote on Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.
Moss said he considered himself the underdog in the race.
“I’m still shocked — but excited,” he said late Tuesday night after the numbers came in.
Records show Moss won Richmond County with more than 85% of the vote. Boles carried the section of Moore County two-to-one. The highest Moss garnered there was 42.3% in one precinct.
“I was really proud at the numbers I pulled out in Richmond County,” Moss said.
He spent a lot of time at the polls in Moore County trying to introduce himself to the voters.
“I got to meet some nice people and told them, ‘Just give me a chance.’”
The race was one Moss wasn’t intending to compete in.
The two sitting representatives were double-bunked late last year when legislative districts were redrawn.
“I hate that I had to run against Boles, but I wasn’t ready to go home,” he said.
Moss will head into his second term in the House. Boles is currently serving his seventh term.
Heading into the upcoming short session, Moss said he just wants to finish this term out doing what he can for his current district before trying to help out the people of District 52 next year.
Moss, who was elected to the House in 2020, was the first Republican to represent Richmond County. He had also been the first Republican elected to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners in more than a century.
The seat has long been held by someone from Richmond County. Previous representatives include Ken Goodman and Wayne and the late Melanie Goodwin.
Moss currently serves House District 66, which, in addition to Richmond, also includes Montgomery County and a sliver of northeastern Stanly County. He is also the new member whip.
In January, Moss was appointed to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee. He was also appointed to serve as vice chairman of the Transportation and Local Government committees, and to serve as a committee member on Appropriations, Appropriations – Transportation, and Commerce.
Last year, Moss was able to help secure more than $30 million for Richmond County in the state budget, including $300,000 for the city of Rockingham and $10,000 for each volunteer fire and rescue agency.
No Democrats or Libertarians have filed to run for the seat in November.
All election results are unofficial until canvassing on May 27.