On Thursday, May 23, Sebastian King announced that he is forming an exploratory campaign initiative for the NC Senate District 27 seat.
The press release states, “King would face Michael Garrett (D-Guilford) in the general election in 2020.”
King may eventually face Garrett, but only if gets through the Republican Primary with at least one experienced, well funded opponent. Former state senator Trudy Wade who lost to Garrett in 2018 after serving three terms in the state Senate announced her intention to run in the state Senate District 27 race at a Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting on May 6. Before being elected to the state Senate Wade served on the Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Wade, who is veterinarian in Jamestown, has also served as the chair of the Guilford County Board of Public Health and chair of the Guilford County Social Services Board.
King is currently executive director of the Guilford County Republican Party. Both the state and county Republican Party organizations have in their plans of organization that if a party office holder files to run for an elected office they must resign their position with the party.
Chair of the Guilford County Republican Party David Gleeson said, “We expect Sebastian to follow the dictates of the plan of organization.”
Deciding to run for office has already cost King his job working on the legislative staff of District 59 state Rep. Jon Hardister.
Hardister said, “I told him [King] you can’t do both. You can’t be on my legislative staff and run for office at the same time. If you’re here, your focus has to be on the legislator you work for.”
Hardister, who is the majority whip of the state House, said it was clear that King had political ambitions so he decided to transition out of his legislative staff position and no longer works for Hardister.
King is currently the vice president of Triad Golf Today, a small family business.
According to a press release sent out Thursday by Exploratory Campaign Director Brandon Lenoir, the announcement comes right before Memorial Day weekend in honor of King’s grandfather and great grandfather.
“Both served in the United States ARMY during war time,” the statement reads. “His grandfather served in Vietnam receiving a purple heart. His great grandfather served in WWII as a medic, and was awarded the EAME Theatre Campaign Ribbon with 2 bronze stars. They both witnessed their friends and fellow soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice. Their dedication to protecting our country has been at the center of King’s desire to enter public service.”
King stated in the press release that he wants to serve as well.
“When I was a kid I was told how important it is to serve,” he stated. “From serving in the military, the church, or the community, everyone has their own calling to serve. I carry that message with me every day.”
During the summer, King said he plans to meet with residents in District 27 to talk about the issues facing the triad. The topics that keep rising to the top so far, he said, are “jobs, safety and education.”
At the end of the summer, based on those conversations, King will decide if he will announce his candidacy. Those who know King are betting he will.
“North Carolina is emerging as a leader for business friendly policies.” King said. “We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and I want to do what I can to help move us to number one.”
He said some good work has been done in this regard already, but more needs to be done.
“I think it would be great to have a voice in the Senate to partner with Hardister and Representative John Faircloth in the House to advance those priorities,” he said. “That voice is currently missing in District 27.”
King is a graduate of Northwest Guilford High School and Texas A&M University.
King took another big step this year: He got engaged to Victoria Allred and the two plan to get married in January.
John Hammer contributed to this article.