Burgin, left, and Rabin

Jim Burgin, the former chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, apparently intends to run for the North Carolina Senate in 2018.

Republican Burgin, who left the Harnett board in 2016, is the president of C&D Insurance in Angier and also a member of the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees. He created a campaign committee named “Jim Burgin for North Carolina Senate” on Aug. 11, according to records on file with the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Burgin loaned his campaign $5,000 to open an account, records show.

The filing is notable because Burgin lives in Senate District 12, which is comprised of all of Lee and Harnett counties, and a small part of Johnston County (the Senate’s redistricting proposal leaves the district largely unchanged, aside from swapping some precincts in Johnston County for others). The district has been represented since the 2012 election by Sen. Ron Rabin, also a Republican. It’s unknown whether Rabin intends to seek a fourth term. A prolific user of social media, Sen. Rabin just yesterday shared a photo from his 2012 campaign, thanking his supporters and saying he had “always tried to represent you with honor and integrity.”

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Rabin’s Twitter feed trends more toward national issues such as Making America Great Again and heralding the passage of the seasons, but he did in recent days congratulate Harnett County Rep. David Lewis, who led the state house’s redistricting effort, on a job well done:

A primary matchup between Burgin and Rabin would be an interesting one. A reliable vote for Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger, Rabin would presumably enjoy support from the Raleigh establishment. For his part, Burgin appears to have deep ties in Harnett County as well. In addition to having served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners, owning a local business, and being on CCCC’s Board of Trustees, Burgin was awarded with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (subscription required, maybe) in November. According to coverage in the Dunn Daily Record, the ceremony was attended by Rep. Lewis, as well as the mayors of Dunn, Coats and Angier.

Rabin is perhaps best known in Sanford and Lee County for his work on the city’s occupancy tax (subscription required), which finally became law this summer after a 2016 attempt to do the same generated controversy between Rabin and local leaders and ultimately failed. Earlier this year, he compared protests against President Donald Trump to “sedition.”

The filing period for the 2018 legislative elections will open in the spring.

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