By Larry Penkava, The Randolph Guide
Thursday, January 9, 2014 —
ASHEBORO — "I'm announcing that I will be a candidate for the Second District of the U.S. Congress."
With that, Asheboro industrialist Keith Crisco made it official Monday morning that he'll seek the seat now held by Republican Renee Ellmers.
Crisco, a Democrat, made the announcement before a crowd of local supporters at Asheboro Elastic Corp., the business he founded in downtown Asheboro.
"I'm elated you're here," he said to the group. He then talked about how a "farm boy from Aquadale ... can run for Congress." Crisco said his mother gathered eggs to make money for her children and so he could attend Pfeiffer College. That's where he met his wife of 49 years, Jane, who stood by his side during the announcement. Other family members were sons, Jeff and John, daughter, Julia Delgrande, granddaughter, Holly Delgrande, and son-in-law, Gifford Delgrande.
"I'm pleased they could be here," Crisco said of his family. He has five other grandchildren who weren't able to attend.
"It's going to be a long journey," he said of the coming campaign, which will be decided in the November 2014 general election.
"I believe the No. 1 issue is jobs and the economy," said Crisco.
"I've worked at job creation at many levels. I believe I'm qualified."
Besides founding Asheboro Elastic Corp. which employs dozens of workers, Crisco served as secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce during the administration of Gov. Bev Perdue. During those four years, he traveled internationally as well as across the state to promote trade and job creation for the state.
Crisco said he moved to Asheboro as head of Stedman Elastics. He said he and Jane "wanted a community to raise our family."
He commended Asheboro as a small town that reflects the values of the Second District.
"I'm the kind of candidate you need in Washington," Crisco said, "somebody who will talk to people, compromise and get things done. I have a history of talking to people of all backgrounds and across political lines. I promise I will do that."
Crisco also promised that "no congressman will work harder" and that he'll "serve no more than three terms.
"If I can make every life in the district a little better, I will be a success," he said.
Larry Penkava is editor of The Randolph Guide, sister publication of The Stanly News & Press.