Small business group endorses Horner for Senate

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The National Federation of Independent Business’ state political action committee has endorsed state Sen. Rick Horner, R-Nash, in his re-election rematch with Democratic candidate Albert Pacer in Senate District 11.

The NFIB North Carolina PAC released its list of legislative endorsements Monday, picking preferred candidates in 24 Senate contests and 22 House races. The organization said its state PAC is composed exclusively of NFIB members.

“Our members support the candidates who support small business and free enterprise,” NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson said in a news release. “These candidates are committed to ensuring a commonsense regulatory, labor and tax environment that will help small businesses grow and create jobs.”

Horner lived in Wilson when he was first elected in November 2016. As a result of court-ordered legislative redistricting, Senate District 11 — which now comprises portions of Wilson, Nash and Johnston counties — will include the entirety of Nash and a portion of Johnston County for the 2018-19 legislative term.

A Bailey native and 14-year Nash County school board veteran, Horner moved back to his family home in Bailey, making him eligible to represent District 11 in both its current and future configuration.

Horner’s seat is the only Wilson County legislative race in which the NFIB endorsed a candidate. The group declined to weigh in on the Senate District 4 race between Sen. Milton F. “Toby” Fitch Jr., D-Wilson, Richard Scott of Scotland Neck and Libertarian Jesse Shearin or in the House District 24 contest between Democratic state Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield and unaffiliated conservative challenger Ken Fontenot.

The NFIB describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan group advocating on behalf of small and independent business owners in statehouses and the nation’s capital.