Back in the game? Alston may run for Legislature

Nov. 18, 2013 @ 05:22 PM

Former Democratic commissioner Skip Alston wants to get back into politics next year, and if he’s successful it would impact who represents parts of High Point in the N.C. General Assembly.

Alston, a real estate businessman from Greensboro who left the Guilford County Board of Commissioners last year, will announce early next month that he’ll run for either the 60th State House District — now served by Democratic Rep. Marcus Brandon of High Point — or the 28th State Senate District — now filled by Democratic Sen. Gladys Robinson of Pleasant Garden. Both state legislative districts cover parts of High Point.
Alston will announce his specific plans during news conferences in High Point and Greensboro Dec. 4, he told The High Point Enterprise Monday. If he runs against either of the two incumbent legislators, it would set up a race for the Democratic primary May 6. Both state legislative districts lean heavily Democratic, meaning the primary winner most likely would win the general election a year from this month.
Alston, who would be making his first bid for a General Assembly seat, said his 20 years of experience working with Democrats and Republicans on the Board of Commissioners would translate into effective service in Raleigh.
“I feel that I would have the right fit and the right experience at this point to make a difference,” he said.
Alston said that he’ll run for one of the two legislative seats regardless of whether Brandon or Robinson seeks re-election. He said that he’d be willing to take on an incumbent legislator if he believes “I can make a better contribution than the person that’s in (the seat) now.”
Brandon, who’s in his second term in the state House, had no comment Monday about Alston’s political intentions. Robinson, also in her second term in the state Senate, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday afternoon by the Enterprise.
Brandon’s political plans for next year are in limbo right now. He is among a group of Democrats in the Piedmont considering a run for Congress in 2014 if U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, joins the administration of President Barack Obama as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Watt’s confirmation to the post awaits approval by the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have objected to his nomination. Watt has indicated that he will announce next month or in January whether he’ll seek another congressional term if the Senate hasn’t acted.

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Key election dates next year
Feb. 10-28 — Candidate filing for county, statewide and congressional offices
April 11 — Last day to register to vote in primary election
May 6 — Primary election
July 7-July 18 — Candidate filing for High Point mayor and City Council
Oct. 10 — Last day to register to vote in general election
Nov. 4 — General election