Cabarrus Democrats pick Charles Paxton to replace the late Jim Johnson

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2008

The Cabarrus County Democratic party has tapped a Harrisburg real estate broker to replace the deceased Jim Johnson Jr. in the race against Republican Fletcher Hartsell for the county’s State Senate seat.
Charles Paxton, owner of Carolina Homes and Land Realty, will challenge incumbent Hartsell, a Concord attorney, the Democratic Party said in a press release.
Johnson was also a Concord attorney. He died in September.
Speaking on behalf of the county Democratic Party, Chairwoman Wendy Wood said the first responsibility in finding a replacement for Johnson was to pick a candidate qualified to serve as senator for the 36th district. She said the party was seeking someone with an economic plan to guide the state through what could be a serious recession. “We can’t wait on Wall Street and we can’t wait on Washington to solve our state and county problems,” the press release quoted Paxton as saying. “We need to put a new senator in Raleigh who will help our citizens keep gas in their cars, good roads to ride on and good jobs to go to.”
Wood said Paxton presented his priorities for change in North Carolina to members of the Democratic Party executive committee last week. He began by telling the group of his run against Johnson in 1986, when Johnson was a Republican state senator and Paxton the Democratic challenger.Paxton also shared a recent conversation he had had with Johnson, who phoned Paxton seeking his support in the May primary for this year’s senate race. Paxton said he was quick to promise his support to Johnson.
Paxton said he and Johnson briefly discussed politics and as they were closing the conversation, Johnson said this election is not about what has been accomplished in the past, but what remains to be done in the future.
Paxton laid out his plan before the committee members to first and foremost protect property values. He also said a high-quality education for children is critical to the community’s future.
Paxton is 54 years old and has 30 years of business experience along with prior experience in state government, the press release said.