John Bell, a Goldsboro man who is challenging incumbent state Rep. Stephen LaRoque in the GOP primary, has picked up an endorsement from an incumbent Republican in a neighboring district. Rep. Efton Sager, a two-term representative from Goldsboro, issued a statement saying Bell is a proven leader and has the values needed for office.
LaRoque is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for how he operated non-profit organizations that loaned federal money to businesses that had not been able to line up bank financing. He is a three-term member of the House and chairman of its Rules Committee.
Jim Hardison of Kinston is the only Democratic candidate running.
Bell said in the news release about the endorsement that he and Sager had extensively discussed ways regional officials can cooperate with one another.