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Check to challenge Gailliard for state House seat

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ROCKY MOUNT — A Republican pastor has announced plans to run again for House District 25, which encompasses most of Nash County, including Spring Hope.

“After much prayer and numerous conversations with local leaders and supporters, I am announcing that I will run for N.C. House District 25,” John Check said. “After receiving nearly 14,000 votes in the last election, I will continue a grassroots effort to bring the seat back to the citizens of District 25.”

Check lost the open seat to Democrat James Gailliard, pastor of a megachurch in Rocky Mount. Gailliard garnered 51.4% of the vote, which was 15,639 votes to Check’s 13,738 votes, or 45%.

Republican legislative leaders redrew House district maps this year and included more of rural southern Nash County in District 25. The rest of southern Nash — and all of Franklin County — remains in District 7, which is represented by state Rep. Lisa Barnes, a Republican.

In his concession speech last year, Check told fellow Republicans that he doesn’t like to lose. Check is currently the interim minister at a Presbyterian church in Rocky Mount.

“We live in such a wonderful state,” Check said in a statement to the press last week. “I will work to keep in from drifting back to the way it was before my friend Jeff Collins was elected to the N.C. House.”

The House seat had been left vacant by a retiring Collins, who hand-picked Check as his replacement. Collins defeated Gailliard in the previous election.

“Much work has been done and there is still more that needs to be done,” Check said. “Our district needs someone to represent us who is unwaivering and who will stand-up for the values of the district. The values of faith, freedom, and family. The values reflected in the Bill of Rights and our Constitution. As your representative in Raleigh, I will be fully engaged with the citizens of our district and promise to give my undivided attention to represent all of the citizens of our district.”

Check said he will hold sheriffs accountable for enforcing immigration law.

“Sanctuary cities or counties have no place in North Carolina,” Check said. “Non-citizens must be removed from our voter rolls. I will support local law enforcement in their war on gang violence. I will work to get illegal guns off the streets of our district while ensuring that law-abiding citizens do not have their Second Amendment rights infringed upon. Drugs, gangs and illegal guns are taking over our streets and our neighborhoods. This must stop and stop now.”

Check said he will support properly funding schools.

“I will vote for teacher raises and school safety,” Check said. “I will never play politics with our teachers and our students. I will support better funding to make our schools safe including better funding for school counselors.”

The filing deadline is Dec. 20 for next year’s general election, which will be held Nov. 3. A primary is scheduled for March 3.

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