WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – J. Wesley Casteen became the third candidate from Wilmington to join the race for the 7th District Congressional seat. Casteen filed Thursday to run as a Libertarian candidate, opposing Democrat Jonathan Barfield and Republicans Chris Andrade, David Rouzer and Woody White.
"With Congress having an approval rating in the teens, there is a high level of dissatisfaction extending to both the Republican and Democratic parties," Casteen said in a phone interview. "I would like to provide a level of satisfaction for voters."
Casteen, 45, is an attorney in Wilmington originally from Warsaw, in Duplin County. This will be his second try for elected office, having run unsuccessfully in 2010 for a seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Casteen said he was unaffiliated politically for years, but recently joined the Libertarian Party as he finished writing his second book. That work also drove him to file for a seat in Washington, as opposed to one in Raleigh or Wilmington.
"I found that the issues that I was passionate about lent itself to a federal race as opposed to a state and local seat," Casteen said.
Asked if he thinks voters in the 7th District are ready to elect someone other than a Democrat or Republican to a seat in Congress, Casteen was optimistic in his response. "I think considering the abysmal approval ratings for Congress right now, people are looking for an alternative," he said. "If they are not afraid to reach out to a third party candidate, and send a message to Washington, this is a good opportunity."