Houston Barnes, a Democrat who heads a business law firm in the Research Triangle Park, announced Tuesday, that he would seek to challenge Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers next year.
“We need a non-wavering voice in Washington that understands the needs within our communities and businesses,” Barnes said in a statement. “I’m proud of my record as an entrepreneur who works every day helping to develop and grow small businesses in our community, and in Congress, I will continue to fight for the people of North Carolina.”
Barnes said he was filing the official paperwork for his candidacy this week. Also former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco said he is looking at seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2nd congressional district next May.
Barnes, 31, is the founder and managing partner of the Barnes Law Firm which has four attorneys and represents business clients, helping them start companies or expand. The North Carolina native also works as a mentor with the business schools at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and N.C. State University in Raleigh. He lives in Durham, just outside the district line, but said he plans to move to the district.
He is married to Brice Barnes, founder of Greenpoint Strategy, and a fund raiser for such Democrats as Sen. Kay Hagan, Rep. Mike McIntyre and former Gov. Bev Perdue.