It has been my honor to serve five terms as the senator for North Carolina’s Senate District 50. Since January 2011, I have traveled extensively throughout the beautiful mountain counties I represent, and my goal has always been to understand how I can effectively support their needs in N.C.’s Legislature.
Elected officials represent just one part of public service, and are dependent upon the dedication and expertise of many local and state employees, and especially the citizens who are committed to making our communities and state the best they can be. My service would not have been possible without these and the voters who trusted me with their support. I am forever in their debt.
My primary goal in running for state office has always been to bring a local perspective to state policies. I felt a strong burden to address the fiscal problems of the state (especially the underfunded pension and retiree health insurance obligations), while appropriately funding the legitimate functions of government. In addition to these, I am proud to have played a part in groundbreaking legislation to aid in addressing our devastating drug abuse epidemic.
The success of my efforts would not have been possible without the steadfast support of my wife, Judy, who has journeyed with me for over 46 years, and my family, who helped keep the home fires burning during my years of service.
I am a strong proponent of citizen legislators – those individuals who bring their talent and energy for public good. I believe they should hold their seats for a limited time so others can then step forward with their unique perspectives and skills. That limited time has come for me. I will not be running for reelection in 2020. I am proud of my record, and now it is time to go home to my wife and family.
Again, the honor has been mine. Words cannot express my gratitude to those who worked hard and sacrificed to create the foundation on which I stood. I will step down at the end of my current term, pass the baton to another capable and willing public servant, and begin the “work” of checking off items on my bucket list. Priority on that list? My bride deserves a real vacation, and I think I shall join her!
With deepest gratitude and appreciation,