Candidates are lining up to file for the 2016 elections and already a significant turnover in the N.C. House and the Senate is a reality. Some 30 incumbents have said it is time to move on…and will not seek re-election. Among them are top leaders who have engineered the Republican revolution: Senators Tom Apodaco and Bob Rucho, House Speaker Pro-Tem Paul Stam, 14-term House veteran Leo Daughtry. At this point, about 30 of the 170 legislators will not be returning. The list includes veteran committee chairs who have supported the agenda for the HTGAC and its research centers. After the November elections, the number of new faces in 2017 will be even larger.
Public school teachers may get raises from the 2016 session, the last for 30 departing members. Senate Appropriations Chairman Harry Brown recently told a gathering of lobbyists that additional revenue is expected to be available for teacher raises. Republican leaders are anxious to repair bridges with supporters of public education in an election year.
Rep. Jason Saine
Rep. Jason Saine of Lincoln County, the affable chairman of the House Finance Committee, has been given additional top assignments by House Speaker Tim Moore. Saine has calmly followed a moderate, pro-business path in his committee leadership. He sees more opportunity for tax reforms. Same for regulations.
Saine has filed for his fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Deborah Ross
Former State Rep. Deborah Ross has filed as a Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Richard Burr. Ross has contacted the HTGAC and wants to sit down with textiles and hosiery manufacturing executives. A meeting will be held in the High Point area and HTGAC members will be invited. We are working on a date for January.
Twenty years ago Virginia Foxx met with hosiery representatives as she was preparing for her first race for the N.C. House of Representatives. She went on to serve in the House and the N.C. Senate and is now the U.S. Representative for the Sixth District extending from Avery County and across northwest North Carolina to Winston-Salem.
Ross and Foxx are hard-working campaigners. A well-known hosiery executive in High Point with strong ties to the Republican party predicts Sen. Burr will be vulnerable if he does not take Ross or the manufacturing community seriously. Remember—we’ll learn more about Ross and her priorities for business in January.