Raleigh, N.C. — Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco is throwing his hat in the ring as a potential 2014 opponent to Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.
A Crisco for Congress campaign committee was formally established Monday, according to a Federal Election Commission document.
A former Asheboro textile executive, Crisco headed the state Department of Commerce under former Gov. Beverly Perdue.
The Democrat told WRAL News in October that he was considering a run for the U.S. House to improve bipartisanship in Congress.
"My style was to work across the aisle," he said at the time. "I think people are ready for someone who's willing to talk and find solutions – someone more centrist. I think that's a better working approach."
Ellmers has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama during her two terms in the House, especially of his signature health care law.
Durham attorney Houston Barnes also has filed for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District, while Frank Roche, a conservative Internet talk show host from Cary, plans to oppose Ellmers in the Republican primary.