State Rep. Sandra Spaulding Hughes will not seek re-election

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - State representative Sandra Spaulding Hughes announced Monday she will not run for re-election.

The former councilwoman was appointed to House District 18 in 2008 to replace ousted Democratic representative Thomas Wright.  Chamber members expelled Wright in March 2008 for misconduct.

Later that year, Hughes defeated newcomer George Swart for a seat in the District 18 State House.

At the time Hughes said being elected made her feel like she earned the position, where she was appointed to the term before.

"There is a difference, really getting out there, beating the bushes, asking persons to vote for you," said Hughes in a previous report.

Now, Hughes said she will not run for re-election because of personal and family reasons.

The chair of New Hanover County's Democratic Party, Jim Morgan, said he has known about the possibility for some time.

"We understand she may have her own reasons for deciding not to seek re-election," said Morgan.  "For that reason, we will respect her judgement - even though, our focus has been on trying to persuade her to reconsider."

Morgan said he has not received any indication Hughes would run for any other office.

"I think she's ready to take a step back," said Morgan.

Hollis Briggs said he could be interested in running for Hughes seat.  He was also a candidate to replace Wright in 2008.

He said he wish he would have worked harder and won the election then so there would be some continuity with the House of Representatives seat.

"I think because of what happened with Thomas Wright, I don't think people felt they could trust another African American male," said Briggs.  "It was good for her to get in and soften the blow.  If I do decide to run, it might be different this time around."

Calls to Hughes Monday were left unanswered.

The county Democratic party has appointed a candidate recruitment committee to search for people interested in running for that seat.

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