Under the Dome

October 22, 2013

Crisco, former state commerce secretary, considers challenging Ellmers

Keith Crisco, the Commerce Secretary under Gov. Bev Perdue, would likely be the most serious challenge that Ellmers has faced.

Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco of Asheboro is considering challenging GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers next year in the 2nd District.

“It would be interesting,” Crisco said of a possible challenge. “I’m a middle of the road guy. Randolph County was one of her best supporters last time. I am considering it.”

Of course, first he’d have to secure the Democratic nomination. But with contacts in the business community and in Democratic circles, Crisco would likely be the most serious challenge that Ellmers has faced.

Crisco was commerce secretary for four years under Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. He sent most of his career as president and chairman of Asheboro Elastics, which makes knitted elastics. At age 70, he recently stepped down from that post, but still serves on the company’s board.

He has been widely active in the textile industry and civic and church affairs. He is a former Asheboro City Councilman. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Stanly County, he has an undergraduate degree from Pfeiffer University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Ellmers, a two-term lawmaker from Dunn, has been criticized by both the left and the right for her position on the government shut down. She at first opposed the strategy, saying it was not an effective tool to fight the president’s health care program, but then voted with the Republican majority for the shutdown. She also voted against the legislation that allowed government to restart and avoid a default.

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