Johnston County

3 more file for House seat


With the incumbent retiring, the District 28 N.C. House seat has drawn a lot of interest.

Three Republicans and two Democrats have filed. The latest were Republican Gregory Dail of the Cleveland community and Democrats Jimmie Massengill of Raleigh Road, Four Oaks, and Patricia Oliver of Lizzie Mill Road, Selma.

“My political philosophy is simple,” said Dail, a native of Eastern North Carolina and a veteran of the U.S. Army. “I believe in freedom and capitalism.

“I believe liberty, most especially economic liberty, is the answer to any country’s problems; in fact, it’s the only answer.”

“My goal is to represent the people of Johnston County and the 28th District with honesty, integrity and openness,” Dail said.

And he distinguished himself from two of his competitors, County Commissioner Tony Braswell and school board member Larry Strickland. “My opponents in the primary are both good and accomplished men but are ... entrenched in the politics of the past,” Dail said. “While agriculture is still very important to Johnston County, there are other issues that require attention.

“We need someone who will address the needs of all the citizens of this county, not just a handful of wealthy landowners receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly price supports and subsidies. For example, our transportation infrastructure is in dire need of upgrading, and with Jones Street raiding the highway fund year after year, well this just can’t continue.”

Dail hold a bachelor’s degree in political science from N.C. State University and an associate’s degree in pharmaceuticals from Wake Technical Community College. His wife is the former Rachel Fagan of Ireland. She is a nurse at a Wake County hospital. They have a son, Kieran, 19, who is autistic.

Dail owns and operates a home-services company.

“Generally speaking, I don’t particularly like politicians, and I’ve never had any desire to involve myself in politics,” he said. “But I do feel strongly that the people of this district deserve better than just more of the same, and I don’t see anyone stepping forward with the ideas and the attitude it will take to move Johnston County forward. That is why I’m running.”

Oliver, 68, is a general contractor who builds houses. She and her husband, Larry, have two children.

“I want to be the voice for Johnston County voters in the House of Representatives for agriculture, education, the environment, the military and freedom,” Oliver said.

She is especially appreciative of this country’s military personnel. “I want to thank all the men and women who serve in all branches of our military for their service,” she said. “Without you folks, those people would be over here killing and destroying our homes and this nation.”

Other late filings in Johnston produced a Republican Party primary for the District 6 seat on the county Board of Commissioners. School board member Keith Branch of Smithfield filed Dec. 2. On Monday, another Republican, Darryl Mitchell, put his name in the hat.

Also, a Democrat, Albert Pacer, of Creech Johnson Road, Zebulon, filed for the District 11 seat in N.C. Senate. When the incumbent, Republican Buck Newton, said he would run for attorney general instead, two Republicans, Rick Horner of Wilson and Benton Sawrey of Clayton, were quick to file. The winner of that race will now face a Democratic opponent in November.