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2 from Pine Level seeking same state House seat

Kenly News of Kenly, North Carolina

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Johnston County School Board Chairman Larry Strickland and County Commission Chairman Tony Braswell, both Pine Level residents, announced Thursday they will seek the House District 28 seat being vacated by J.H. Langdon, who also announced Thursday he would not seek another term.

"It is with great humility that I would like to thank Representative J.H. Langdon for his service to Johnston County and the State of North Carolina, especially in the fields of education, agriculture and State personnel," Strickland said. "Representative Langdon's vision, integrity and character are second to none. He is a friend, a mentor and a true reflection of Christ."

"I am a candidate for NC House Seat 28 because it's time for government to stop over-regulating the people of North Carolina and stifling our economic growth," Bras-well said. "But first, I would like to thank Representative Langdon for his more than a decade of public service to the people of the 28th district. He has worked hard for the working families of Johnston County and I hope to continue his good works."

Strickland said he decided to run after much prayer, thought and discussion with close friends and family. He said he would officially file on Dec. 1.

"Just as with Representative Langdon, education will remain a priority in Raleigh as it always has been in my service to Johnston County," Strickland said. "I believe my experience of serving in the community as a member of Johnston County Board of Education and, specifically as chairman, have uniquely prepared me to represent the people, parents and children of this wonderful county we all love."

Strickland has served on the board of education since 1998 and became chairman in 2008. His current term on the school board expires in 2018. He served on the Pine Level Town Board from 1995 to 1998.

Braswell is completing his 11th year as a commissioner and the first year as chairman. He previously served two years as vice chairman. Braswell is a former Pine Level mayor. His term on the Johnston Board of Commissioners expires in 2016.

Strickland grew up on a Johnston County farm and said he has deep roots in agriculture.

"I still have a working farm where we grow a variety of agricultural commodities, which are vital to North Carolina," Strickland said. "I realize that agriculture is the largest industry in the state and if elected, I pledge to help Agriculture Commissioner Troxler reach his $100 billion goal in North Carolina.

"Johnston County's root and especially the 28th District are in agriculture, and I will not forget that most important fact."

Braswell said that if he's elected he'll be ready to serve on day one. But more importantly, I'm a businessman who has worked for more than 22 years in the agri-insurance business. I know first-hand that the agriculture economy plays a hugely important role in the economy of Johnston County," Braswell said. And just as importantly, as a small business owner I am well-aware of the burden of government overregulation and how this overregulation impedes greater job creation. It has been my honor to serve Johnston County constituents and I hope to be able to continue this public service."

Strickland is employed by the state Department of Transportation. He graduated from North Johnston High School in 1973. He is a 1975 graduate of Wayne Community College where he received an associate's degree in forestry. In 1979, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College).

Braswell serves as the chairman of the N.C. Veterans Affairs Commission and is a member of the N.C. Child Fatality Commission. Braswell retired after 22 years in the agri-insurance industry. He and his wife were owners of several florists in Johnston County before retiring in 2009. He is currently managing partner of Legends Real Estate, a property management firm.

"I have worked for a quarter century for the Department of Transportation and understand how vital infrastructure is to the economy of this state and intend to bring a vision of growth to the General Assembly," Strickland said. "Getting people back to work is important and infrastructure is a key component of economic development."

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Original Publication Date: November 1, 2015

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