BOGUE BANKS — State Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret (Jones), said this week she will run for reelection to the N.C. House, despite previous statements that this term would be her last.
Pine Knoll Shores Mayor Ken Jones said this week he will not file for the seat after all, ending his bid, he said, to instead support the longtime representative from Emerald Isle.
Rep. McElraft told the News-Times Thursday she previously intended her current term in office, which is her seventh, to be her last due to health concerns for her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Retired Col. Roger McElraft.
However, Rep. McElraft said her husband’s health has improved noticeably.
“Since his health is doing well, there’s some things unfinished I want to work on,” she said. “They (state GOP leadership) would like me to help finish our pro-life legislation that we started. I believe if we get Lt. Gov. (Dan) Forest elected in there, we can get this legislation approved.”
Lt. Gov. Forest, also a Republican, has already announced his bid for the governor’s seat, currently, held by Democrat Roy Cooper.
The legislation Rep. McElraft was referring to is Senate Bill 359, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” Gov. Cooper vetoed the bill in April.
In addition to the pro-life legislation, Rep. McElraft said there are some other projects she’d like to see through with an eighth term in office, particularly regarding state appropriations.
“Since I’m senior chair of appropriations, I’d like to do something about appropriations for our beaches and tourism,” she said, “and protecting our military. I’m hoping having a senior position will help our case. We also want to continue our (state) oyster (restoration) program.”
Mayor Jones announced his decision not to run at the regular board of commissioners meeting Wednesday in the town hall boardroom at 100 Municipal Circle. According to the mayor, his reason for leaving the race is Rep. McElraft’s intent to seek another term.
Rep. McElraft said she’s enjoyed her time serving the people of Carteret and Jones counties.
“Now that my husband is feeling better, I think one more term would be appropriate, if the people of Carteret and Jones counties will have me,” she said.
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