State Sen. David Rouzer of Johnston County said he plans to seek the GOP nomination for the 7th congressional seat next year.
Rouzer, 39, is a former agriculture advisor to Republican Senators Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole, and who also served in the administration of George W. Bush.
Rouzer said he decided to make the run, after the GOP legislature came out with a newly configured 7th district that swings northward to include Johnston County. He will likely face a competitive primary with Illario Pantano of Wilmington, who was the GOP nominee for the seat last year and has already mounted a campaign for next year.
The seat is now held by Democrat Mike McIntyre of Lumberton. The proposed new district throws McIntyre into the 8th district, although McIntyre could still decide to seek re-election in the 7th.
“The ball kind of rolled my way,” Rouzer said. “When they redrew the maps. When I looked at this version it is a very strong district that matched my background and my ties going back to my years working with Sen Helms and Sen. Dole.”
Rouzer said he has been concerned about the direction of the country, and that he wants to make sure future generations have the same opportunities that he has had.
He said veteran consultant Bob Rosser will run his campaign.
UPDATE; Among those supporting Rouzer's bid are Mrs. Jesse Helms, former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, former state Sen. Fred Smith, state Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County, state Sen. Thom Goolsby of New Hanover County, State Sen. Wesley Meredith of Cumberland County, State Sen. Brent Jackson of Sampson, County, state Rep. J.H. Langdon of Johnston County, Bill Prestage of Sampson County, and Dial Gray and Frank Grainger of Columbus County.