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Barnes running for Horner’s state Senate seat

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NASHVILLE — State Rep. Lisa Barnes celebrated her 32nd wedding anniversary on Thursday by filing to run for state Senate.

Barnes, a Spring Hope native who represents Franklin County and a sliver of southern Nash County in House District 7, said she’s running for Senate District 11 in order to be able to represent more of Nash County.

The District 11 seat, which includes all of Nash and part of Johnston County, has been left open by state Sen. Rick Horner, a Bailey native who recently announced he’s decided not to run again due to shifting legislative lines. Horner represented Wilson County until a map adjustment two years ago caused him to move home and run for District 11.

Barnes also said she wants a Nash County resident in the District 11 seat. She will face Johnston County Commissioner Patrick Harris in the March primary along with any other Republican candidate who files to run by Friday’s deadline.

Barnes’ husband Johnny, a Nash County farmer, joined her at the Nash County Board of Elections in Nashville. Barnes is a mother of three.

A former Nash County commissioner, Barnes said the jump from the House to the Senate is an opportunity to better serve growing communities in central North Carolina.

“We need Senate leaders committed to enacting policies that keep taxes low and create a responsible budget that allows diverse communities to continue to address their needs,” Barnes said. “From my first election as a Nash County commissioner to serving in the North Carolina House, I have worked hard to meet the many needs of my constituents. I will take that same work ethic and dedication to the North Carolina Senate.”

As a commissioner and House member, Barnes said she built extensive relationships in Nash and Franklin counties and is uniquely qualified to address the needs of diverse communities at the intersection of suburban and rural North Carolina. She prides herself on putting residents first and said she’s excited to meet voters across District 11.

“I look forward to continuing to work for House District 7 during 2020,” Barnes said. “One of the reasons I’m confident in my decision to run for Senate is because my House district has an excellent choice to replace me with Matthew Winslow, a local Republican business owner, announcing his plans to run in District 7.”

Winslow is from Youngsville in Franklin County.

Barnes said she’s focused on bringing common-sense conservative leadership to North Carolina while addressing critical needs like access to affordable health care, promoting jobs and ensuring the state’s economy can continue to grow and prosper. She said she’s committed to responsible government spending and providing communities with the resources needed to enable job growth and promote economic prosperity.