Monday, 14 January 2019 17:51

Moss announces intent to run for NC House

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Richmond County Commissioner Ben Moss told the Richmond Observer on Monday that he intends to run for the N.C. House of Representatives. Richmond County Commissioner Ben Moss told the Richmond Observer on Monday that he intends to run for the N.C. House of Representatives. Richmond County Government

ROCKINGHAM — Another Richmond County Republican has announced his intent to run for a state seat long held by Democrats.

Ben Moss said Monday that he plans to file for the N.C. House of Representatives District 66 seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Ken Goodman.

Moss, who was just re-elected as a county commissioner said he first had aspirations of running for state office in his early 20s, but knew he wasn’t ready.

“I wanted to learn how local government worked,” he said. “(There’s) no better way to learn than to get (involved.)”

But now at 39, Moss said he feels like “if I’m going to run, I might as well run now. Why wait?”

“I feel like I can help the county more if I move up (to the state level,)” he said. “There are a lot of things that go on at the state level that can greatly affect people.”

Moss said he wants to bring a younger perspective to the General Assembly and a “common-sense approach” to state government.

The move from a local position to a state-level office is “a big jump,” he said. “That’s uncharted waters for me.”

Instead of representing people in one county, he’ll be representing three. The district also includes Montgomery County and part of Stanly County.

And that comes as both a challenge and an advantage.

The biggest hurdle to overcome, he said, is that “a majority of the people in those counties don’t know me.”

However, Moss added, those two counties have a higher ratio of Republican voters than his native Richmond.

Republican Joey Davis, of Seagrove, “put up some good numbers” against Goodman in the most recent election, Moss said.

Results from the N.C. State Board of Elections show Davis less than 1,000 votes behind Goodman, garnering the majority of votes in both Montgomery and Stanly counties.

One other challenge for Moss will likely be a Republican primary, which he hasn’t really had to do running for county commissioner.

So far, at least one other Republican, 23-year-old Joshua Flores of Ellerbe, has announced his intent to run for the seat.

Moss, a locomotive engineer and union representative for CSX Railroad, ran two unsuccessful campaigns for commissioner in 2006 and 2008 and finally won a seat with less than 1 percent of the vote as the lowest vote-getter in 2010.

He was the first Republican elected to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners in more than 120 years.

In the 2018 election, Moss received the most votes out of the six candidates in that race.

Goodman was elected to the House seat the same year Moss was first elected as a commissioner. 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 previously told the RO that the seat has been held by a Richmond County democrat as far back as he can remember.

As for his decision to run, Moss said he has nothing against the current office holder.

“Ken Goodman has done a good job for our county,” he said. “I just feel like it’s my time to give it a try and see if the people will let me.”