WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Attorney J. Wesley Casteen of Wilmington is the first candidate to file in North Carolina's newly redrawn Seventh Congressional District. Casteen had filed as a candidate in December, the only Democrat to enter the race, before state lawmakers had to make changes to the voting maps after a federal court ruled the First and Twelfth Congressional Districts unconstitutional. The court has not announced its' decision whether to approve the new maps.
"I felt compelled to serve the people of southeastern North Carolina, and early on, I accepted the challenge to run against the Republican incumbent." Casteen said in an email news release. "I filed to run back in December, and for the past three months, I have been campaigning actively throughout the district."
Casteen ran as a Libertarian candidate in the Seventh Congressional District in 2014, picking up a little more than three percent of the vote in a race won by Republican David Rouzer. Rouzer filed in December to run for re-election. However, the new map eliminated many precincts in Johnston County from the Seventh District, which is Rouzer's home county and where he collected the most votes in 2014. The new map also returns all of New Hanover and Pender counties from the Third Congressional District back to the Seventh, where they were before state lawmakers enacted a new redistricting plan in 2011.
The period for candidates to file to run in the new congressional districts ends at Noon on Friday, March 25.