By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
November 5, 2015
MATTHEWS – Thursday, State Senator, Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016. Rucho told WRAL News that he had done everything that he promised to do and it was time to leave.
“When you’ve done everything you said you were going to do and you can step away, that’s a victory,” Rucho told WRAL.
Rucho (67), a dentist from Matthews, was first elected to the state Senate in 1996. He left the Senate in 2004 when he was “double-bunked” with state Sen. Robert Pittenger who would later run and win a seat in Congress in 2013. Rucho would return to the state Senate in 2007.
“If there was ever someone in the North Carolina General Assembly who deserves credit for our state’s return to fiscal sanity it’s Sen. Rucho,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “He hails from New England and with that thick Yankee accent of his; he sounds a bit like Bobby Kennedy. But he’s a true blue Republican conservative and our state is better for the contribution he’s made. Some people don’t ever think of it this way, but economic issues are of moral import too.”
Rucho was in the vanguard of the state’s tax reform. Once during the debate on tax reform, Rucho turned to a legislative room full of people during a Senate Finance Committee meeting and asked, “Members of the audience, would you just raise your hands if you are a lobbyist?” When dozens of hands throughout the room went up, Rucho said, “Members of the committee, I just want you to remember, those are the folk that are in the process of trying to be sure that this tax system stays complicated and loopholes are maintained.”
Forbes magazine labeled Rucho a “Tax Reform Hero.” “Bold tax reform will become a reality only when individuals like Rucho have majorities in legislatures,” said the magazine.
Monday, Rep. Rick Catlin, a two term Republican Representative from New Hanover said that he would not seek a third term. Catlin said he needs to get back to his business responsibilities.
Last week (Thursday), Rep, James H. Langdon also announced he would not seek re-election. Langdon currently serves House District 28 in Johnston County.
Langdon has served six terms. During his tenure he’s been the Chairman for the House Agriculture Committee.
“I am especially saddened to hear of Rep. Langdon’s decision not to run again,” said Dr. Creech. “Langdon is a fine Christian statesman – a man of a gentle spirit and wise discernment. Although I understand well and support his decision not to seek re-election, I have grave concerns every time I see a godly individual like him leave our state’s halls of power.”
Rucho, Catlin and Langdon are now part of what is getting to be a long list of lawmakers who say they do not plan to return after 2016.
In July state Rep. Rayne Brown (R-Davidson) announced she would not run again. Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) announced the same in May.
Both state Senators Josh Stein (D-Wake) and Buck Newton (R-Nash) will leave their seats to make a run at becoming the next North Carolina Attorney General.
The powerful chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Tom Apodaca, has stated he may not run for re-election, but he has yet to make up his mind.
Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) says that he may not seek re-election, but wants to see what Apodaco will decide first, since they both serve the same constituency.
In recent weeks, the Christian Action League announced the decision by a number of other House members who have said they will not run again. Among them are:
Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake)
Rep. Jacquline Schaeffer (R-Mecklenburg)
Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston)
Rep. Paul Tine (U-Dare)
Rep. Nathan Baskerville (D-Vance)
Rep. Brian Brown (R-Pitt) resigned his seat last month to go to work for U.S Senator Thom Tillis. Rep. Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes) also resigned his seat to become the lobbyist for the North Carolina School Boards Association.
Read Related Story: More NC Lawmakers Dropping Out: What’s the Cause and Solution?