Charles Moss wanted to run for governor so much that he used his monthly Social Security check to pay his $1,424 filing fee.
“I came home, my wife said, ‘You did what’?!” recalls Moss, 76.
The Randolph County Republican is making his second run for governor in four years. In 2012, he finished last among six candidates, with less than 2 percent of the vote.
The Randleman real estate broker, bait and tackle company owner, one-time drag car racer, church bus driver, tech school instructor and former Air Force flier is one of three Republicans running in the March 15 primary.
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A Wadesboro native, Moss is also an evangelist who drives to campaign events in a 10-year-old Camry plastered with red, white and blue magnetic signs that say “Moss for Governor. We need to Repent.”
“Why am I running?” he says. “To get (Pat) McCrory out of office.”
He calls the governor “a rubber stamp” for the conservative, Republican-controlled legislature.
Moss, who first ran for office in 1986, considers himself a moderate conservative. He’s against abortion but believes in helping women who get pregnant. Same-sex marriage, he says, is “none of my business.”
“That’s between them and God,” he says. “I don’t try to judge people. That’s where I run into a lot of trouble with other preachers.”
And Moss, who once taught auto mechanics at what was then known as Richmond Technical College, says the state should offer two years of free tuition at community colleges. He would raise the corporate tax to pay for it.
If that sounds like Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Moss says he’s also like a certain Republican candidate in not accepting big outside contributions.
“I guess I’m the original Donald Trump,” he says. “I’ve run on my own money since 1986.”
Charles Kenneth Moss
Family: Wife, Janet; four daughters, nine grandchildren.
Occupation: Owns real estate company and a tackle company. Also preaches.
Education: Two years at UNC Pembroke and a year at UNC Greensboro. Graduated from the old Richmond Tech in Hamlet.
Political experience: Ran for several offices; elected in 2000 as Randolph County Soil and Water Conservation supervisor.
Worth knowing: Once flew Air Force refueling missions during the Vietnam era.