North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore confirms he won’t seek another term leading the chamber

Published 7:28 am Sunday, July 23, 2023

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By Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore has confirmed that his record fifth two-year term presiding over the chamber will be his last, saying legislative colleagues have known about his decision going back a year.

Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, has served in the House since 2003 and was first elected speaker in 2015 while succeeding now-U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis at the job.

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He’s helped push a conservative fiscal and social agenda through the General Assembly with Senate leader Phil Berger and built GOP seat margins back to veto-proof majorities.

Moore, 52, said in an interview that he told fellow House Republican leaders in spring 2022 about his plans not to run for speaker after the 2023-24 term ends. And he said he told the current GOP membership the same thing last fall when they assembled their slate of candidates for chamber positions.

“All of my caucus members knew – I made it clear that this is my last term as speaker,” Moore said, adding that he would serve out his term through the end of 2024. A successful run for speaker by any Republican in 2025 would be all but contingent on the GOP retaining a seat majority.

Leading up to the 2022 elections, Moore had weighed running for a congressional seat in a potential open district west of Charlotte, but he declined. Then-U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn initially announced he wanted to run in that region. The congressional lines ultimately had to be redrawn last year and Cawthorn ran and lost in another mountain-area district.

The General Assembly will again redraw the state’s 14 U.S. House districts later this year in time for the 2024 elections, raising the potential for Moore to run for Congress now.

When asked Friday about his future, Moore didn’t completely reject running for his state House seat again in 2024. Some previous speakers over the past 30 years have remained rank-and-file members of the legislature.

Still, Moore said that he would be “looking at potentially other offices or other options.”

With his election as speaker in January, the Kings Mountain attorney made history by breaking a tie with two former speakers who had served four two-year terms: Democratic Rep. Liston Ramsey of Madison County and Rep. Jim Black of Mecklenburg County.

Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincoln County Republican and top budget writer, said Friday that Moore had mentioned not running for speaker in 2025 on “multiple occasions” to the GOP caucus.

Moore last month was the subject of a lawsuit by a man who alleged Moore broke up his marriage by having an affair with his wife. Moore, who is divorced, defended his actions and vehemently rejected allegations in the lawsuit. Attorneys for Moore and the husband announced week before last the matter was resolved, and the husband ended the lawsuit July 5, according to a state courts website.

Saine, who has been mentioned as one of many on a list of potential successors to Moore as speaker, said Moore’s decision was made long ago and had no connection to the legal matter.

“No one is pushing the speaker out,” Saine said in a text message. “He’s been very open and honest that he would not seek another term as our speaker.”