SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Carson Smith, Jr. will be the new representative for N.C. House District 16 after winning in the 2018 N.C. General Election.
Tuesday night’s results show that Smith (R) received received 62.5 percent of the votes over John Johnson (D).
“It is very humbling to know that you were chosen to do this," said Smith in an interview with WECT after learning of his win. "I was chosen for sheriff for four terms and now to be able to represent the folks of Pender and Columbus County in Raleigh, it’s something I very much look forward to, and I’m just happy to be able to serve.”
Smith said he will bring a focus on education, jobs, and mental health to his new seat.
“I think keeping government out of the way of businesses, to get these businesses, homegrown businesses to help them to flourish, help make a climate to where businesses where will want to come in here," said Smith.
Smith grew up and has lived in Pender County for most of his life. Previously, he served as Pender County Sheriff for 16 years before retiring to run for the N.C. House of Rep. He is focused on schools, protecting family farms, fighting the opioid crisis, and Voter ID, according to his campaign website.
“I had been working up in the legislature with house members and senate members, and became very interested in that part of it, and it just seemed a natural transition as I decided to retire after 35 years in public safety. This opportunity became available and I think I can take, especially on the public safety side, I think I can take a lot to Raleigh," said Smith.
Johnson is a Pender County native who graduated from Pender High School. He previously worked for 30 years with AT&T and is focused on education, jobs, healthcare, and the environment, according to his campaign website.
N.C. House District 16 covers Pender County and about one-third of Columbus County.
The incumbent, Rep. Bob Mueller (R) was appointed to the position in September 2017 after Rep. Chris Millis (R) resigned halfway through his term to spend more time with his family.
Note: Vote totals are unofficial until they are canvassed later this month.