Replacements have been chosen to finish their terms and placed on the ballot for November
By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
August 19, 2016
RALEIGH – In a little more than three weeks, two Republican lawmakers have resigned their seats and will not seek re-election in November.
House Majority Leader, Rep. Mike Hager (R- Burke, Rutherford), officially resigned his seat on Tuesday.
Hager served three terms in the state House. He served with considerable promise moving quickly from freshman caucus leader (2011-2012), to majority whip (2013-2014), and finally to majority leader in (2015-2016).
In a released statement, Hager, said, “It is with great trepidation that I announce my resignation to the North Carolina House of Representatives. I want to thank everyone, especially my family, for their support over the past six years. It has been an honor representing House District 112 and the great state of North Carolina. My time serving has been the most humbling and rewarding experience to serve my constituents and develop many great friendships with them and colleagues along the way. After much prayer and consideration, it is time to spend more time with my family and pursue other opportunities.”
Besides serving as Majority Leader, Hager also served as the Chairman of Public Utilities Committee, Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy, and the Environmental Review Commission.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League said that he was saddened to hear of Hagar’s decision to leave. “I always perceived him to be something of an anchor for strong conservative values – someone whose influence prevented those more subject to compromise from drifting Left,” said Dr. Creech. “I believe his leadership will be missed. He emboldened other conservatives to stay the course – to be strong – to hold the line. I also know he had an unswerving commitment to religious liberty, which at times we privately discussed.”
Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) sent out his own statement expressing appreciation for Hager’s service, saying he had advanced “the Republican agenda for the betterment of North Carolinians.
“Serving in the General Assembly requires far greater time and energy than many people ever realize, and we all make sacrifices to be in Raleigh and away from home many nights,” wrote the Speaker, “Mike and I were friends long before we served in the House together, and even though we will not be colleagues in the House, our friendship will continue. I wish Mike and his family nothing but the best.”
Hager said that he was proud that when he first filed for office in 2010 that Rutherford County’s unemployment rate was as high as 18.7%, but because of Republican policies he helped to craft it had now dropped to 6.8% with over 1600 jobs created since 2011.
According to the Associated Press, “GOP activists in Rutherford and Burke counties picked Rutherfordton lawyer David Rogers on Wednesday to succeed Rep. Mike Hager…The Daily Courier of Forest City reported Rogers also would become the 112th District nominee this fall against an unaffiliated candidate” (Ben Edwards of Spindale) for the seat Hager vacated.
The Christian Action League neglected to report that Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg) resigned his seat, as well as withdrew from his re-election bid, Monday, July 25th.
Jeter served two terms in the House. He was conference chairman, which is someone tasked with the responsibility of raising money for GOP House members.
He was more of a centrist and was not adept to supporting social issues as most of his House colleagues. Jeter did not attend the special session in March when lawmakers passed HB 2.
He barely won his primary against Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Davis by 35 votes. Jeter’s re-election bid for the general election was also shaping up to be a tight race against Democrat Chaz Beasley.
In a press statement, Jeter said, “This has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life. I love serving the people of North Carolina.”
He added that he knew that by his decision he would be letting down his Republican colleagues in a very tough election year. “However, I simply cannot continue down a road that in the end forces me to make my wife and children anything less than the first priority in my life.”
Jeter continued, “While life is full of many difficult challenges, it is also short. The titles of husband and father are much greater, and I must devote the time to my young family while I still have that opportunity.”
Dr. Creech said that few people understand the sacrifice that comes with public service. “It’s not a 9 to 5 job by any stretch of the imagination. It’s life consuming. It’s physically, mentally, and spiritually taxing. You don’t get to sit down to dinner with your spouse and children in the evening. For younger families it’s especially hard because one spouse has to carry-on the household and care for the children without the help or presence of the other. This is to say nothing about the way their businesses often suffer because they are unable to have hands-on management,” said Dr. Creech. “And they do all of this for a paltry part-time salary.
“Every time they vote on a piece of legislation they are subject to having made someone angry at them. They’re often unfairly treated by the press. Sure there are perks to the job, but the bottom line is anyone considering running for office had better count the costs because the costs are high,” he added.
The Associated Press is also reporting that Justin Moore will replace Jeter in the House and finish out his term. However, commissioner Danae Caulfield of Huntersville has been chosen to replace Jeter on the ballot to run against Beasley in the general election.