By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
December 15, 2023
As the filing period for 2024 elections draws to a close this week, it is clear that North Carolina’s legislative landscape will look quite different next year. Some 10 percent of state lawmakers are vacating their posts, as are more than a fourth of Congressional incumbents.
Why the huge turnover? Retirement, redistricting and the hankering for higher office are mainly to blame.
Congress members Jeff Jackson and Kathy Manning, both Democrats, aren’t fond of how their districts were redrawn. Jackson will run for state attorney general instead of seeking office in the 14th congressional district. Congressman Dan Bishop is also running for attorney general, leaving his District 8 seat up for grabs, while fellow Republican Patrick McHenry (N.C.-10) says his season on Capitol Hill is coming to an end.
Lawmakers opting for retirement at the state level include five Democrats and five Republicans. Among them are Rosa Gill (D-Wake), Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland), John Faircloth (R-Guilford) and Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth).
Seven legislators are eyeing new offices. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Caleb Rudow (D-Buncombe) have their sights set on Congress. Candidates for lieutenant governor include Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) and Sen. Rachel Hunt (D-Mecklenburg). Reps. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Wesley Harris (D-Mecklenburg) are also leaving the Legislature, Hardister to make a run for state labor commissioner and Harris for state treasurer.
Whatever the reason for the departure of multiple incumbents at once, the changes make lobbying for Christian values a steeper uphill battle, says the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“Effective lobbying means learning who lawmakers are — learning what makes them tick. It involves navigating those relationships effectively to either stop something bad from happening or get something good done,” Creech said. “Any time there is a big turnover, it means having to start over, getting to know someone new. It’s a lot of work. Plus, you have to do this simultaneously with legislation being filed and heard in committee.”
He said the the main thing for Christians to consider is that if people who share our worldview don’t run for office, it becomes exceedingly difficult to get anything done for righteousness’s sake.
“Life is more than education, budget and finance, taxes, infrastructure, economic development, transportation, housing, etc. It’s also about abortion, LGBTQ, alcohol and drug policies, the First and Second Amendments, marriage and the family, gambling, the death penalty, school choice, and what’s taught in public schools,” Creech said.
“These latter issues actually play a larger role in the direction and future of our state than the first,” he added.
Creech is a strong proponent of Christians running for office.
“Characteristically, consistent followers of Christ have a concern for the common good above their own self-interests. They will seek to protect our institutions from radical leftist nonsense. They will correct and address corruption among public officials. They will risk their own lives, fortunes, and honor for their state and nation,” Creech said. ‘They will faithfully perform their duties and demonstrate right conduct in both their private and public lives.”
Filing for office ends at noon on Dec. 15. The primary election is March 5.