Friday, 04 January 2019 16:03

Young Republican announces intent to run for N.C. House of Representatives

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Joshua Flores, 23, announced Friday that he plans to run for the N.C. House of Representatives. Joshua Flores, 23, announced Friday that he plans to run for the N.C. House of Representatives. Contributed photo

ELLERBE — One young Richmond County Republican is looking to get his foot in the political door by eyeing a state seat.

Joshua Flores, 23, said Friday that he’s planning to run as a candidate for District 66 of the North Carolina House of Representatives and will be filing paperwork on Monday.

“I’ve got a bunch of volunteers ready to do this thing,” he said.

Flores was born in Texas, but adopted by Wilma and Johnny Cardenas of Ellerbe when he was 6 months old.

He said he first took a liking to politics at 14 and three years later was determined to one day run for public office.

Flores has been active in the political scene in recent years and has been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump and Rep-elect Mark Harris. He also supported former Rep. Robert Pittenger in 2016.

In 2015, he was one of about 50 drivers who participated in a “Ride for Pride” event, with a convoy of Confederate flag-waving cohorts driving through Richmond, Anson, Chesterfield, Marlboro and Scotland counties proudly flying the stars and bars.

Although he originally planned to run for the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, Flores decided to “go for a bigger bang” and campaign on the state level.

“It’s time for a new generation and a new voice to head to Raleigh,” he said.

Candidates can run for state House at the age of 21, unlike the state Senate and the U.S. House where the minimum age is 25.

Rep. Ken Goodman, a Democrat, was first elected to the seat in 2010. Before him, the seat was held for a combined seven terms by current state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin (four) and his wife, Melanie (three).

Although district lines and numbers have changed over the years, Goodman said Friday the seat has been held by a Richmond County democrat as far back as he can remember.

And while the district has long been a Democratic stronghold, Montgomery and Stanly counties could give Republicans a better chance than they’ve had in the past.

Goodman won the most recent election with 58.1 percent of the vote. Republican Joey Davis garnered 39.83 percent and Green Party candidate Justin Miller had just 1.66 percent.

Before Flores can get a shot at Goodman, he may have to make it past members of his own party in a primary. Goodman said he anticipates several Republicans making a run for the seat.