Senate leadership is shifting more to the left, says Ex. Dir.
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — Ranked the third most effective senator for the past 10 years by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research and known as a longtime friend of business, Sen. David Hoyle (D-Gaston) announced this week that he will not run again.
An 18-year veteran of the Senate, the 70-year-old said when his term ends next fall, he is looking forward to having time with family and friends and playing some golf, not to mention being free from the task of raising campaign funds.
“I raised $700,000 last election,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to not having to put up with the personal attacks that come along with it.”
Co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Hoyle is among a dwindling number of “business progressives” in the Senate, which also include Sen. Tony Rand, who announced recently that he will leave the Senate early next year to take a post at the state parole commission.
“When I went into office in 1993, probably 50 to 60 percent of the people in the Senate were business people who knew what it was like to make a payroll. Now, you can count them on one or two hands,” Hoyle said. “There’s nothing wrong with retired people running for office or attorneys or other groups. We do need a mix, but we need to remember that every dime we appropriate comes from businesses and jobs.”
He said he is proud of the pro-business bills, tort reform and other legislation he’s helped pass, including the Jessica Lunsford Act for N.C., and that he’s satisfied to have done his best.
“What concerns me about this is that the more moderate members like Hoyle on social issues who have held the reins of leadership in the Senate are bowing out,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “This affects more than just business concerns, which have not been the League’s focus. But what it does mean is that the leadership in the Senate will likely shift more to the left on the critical social issues facing our state”
Creech said the conservative evangelical Christian camp “better start praying because unless there are some significant changes come election time, a House and Senate with leftist leadership could spell disaster for many of our concerns.”
A developer and the former mayor of Dallas, N.C., Hoyle is a member of the Appropriations/Base Budget Committee as well as committees on Health Care, Judiciary I, Rules and Operations of the Senate, Transportation and Ways & Means among other appointments. He has been the primary sponsor of some 38 bills this year, many of them business related.
In addition to Hoyle’s and Rand’s departure, Sen. Jim Jacumin (R-Burke) has announced he won’t run again as has Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover). Sen. David Weinstein (D- Roberson) has left to become Highway Safety Program Administrator.
The Senate could also see new faces in some other seats. According to the N.C. Spin Web site, Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) will have a stiff challenge in the primary. And former Representative Louis Pate will present a formidable challenge to Sen. Don Davis (D-Pitt). Sen. R.C. Soles (D-Columbus) may not return to the Senate as he remains in the center of a growing controversy since he shot a man who was allegedly breaking into his home.
Rep. John Blust Becomes a Father
In other Legislative news, Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford) has taken on a new role — that of fatherhood. Media sites reported this week the Dec. 1 birth of his daughter, Barbara Virginia Blust.
The Christian Action League congratulates Rep. Blust.
Rev. Creech noted that Blust is about to embark on the greatest journey of his life – raising a child. As Teddy Roosevelt put it: “For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.”