A third Republican lawmaker is adding his name to the growing list of statehouse incumbents considering a run for Congress.
Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, says he's "taking a serious look at" a run for the 8th District. The new GOP-drawn district map would make Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell substantially more vulnerable to a Republican challenger.
"I'm thinking long and hard about it, praying about it," Burr said. But he's not yet ready to announce his candidacy. "I’m gonna wait til the process is through, and respect the legislative process."
Burr said he's considering a run this year because he's "concerned about a lot of things happening in Washington," particularly federal health care reform and its associated mandates. He said he's also worried about spending. "We balanced the budget in Raleigh. Maybe we could take some of those ideas to DC."
Burr is in his third year in the House. He's 26 years old - the same age, he points out, as fellow Republican Patrick McHenry when he first went to Congress.
"I'm someone who's young and energetic, not just going up there to eat the shrimp and be part of the clique but to really represent the 8th District and take care of the constituents," he said.
If he enters the race, he'll likely face primary opposition from fellow House Republican Jerry Dockham, who said he's "95% sure" he'll run for the 8th, too. When asked if the contest would cause some awkwardness in caucus meetings, Burr said, "We'll have to wait and see who decides to run."