RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Speaker Tim Moore is again the choice of North Carolina state House Republicans to lead the chamber for the next two years after an internal vote on Friday that should bring him history-making longevity at the top.
Reelected or new Republican winners of House seats this month met privately in Raleigh to choose the caucus leadership positions and their nominations for speaker and speaker pro tempore.
Moore, a Kings Mountain attorney, was elected unanimously as the caucus candidate for speaker when the new General Assembly session convenes on Jan. 11, according to a news release from Moore’s office and from other Republicans.
Republicans are expected to hold 71 of the 120 seats – two more compared with current margins – so his reelection to a fifth two-year term as speaker is all but assured.
Moore and two former speakers – both Democrats – had been elected to four two-year teams as speaker. Rep. Liston Ramsey of Madison County served as speaker from 1981 through 1988, while Rep. Jim Black of Mecklenburg County served from 1999 through 2006.
Moore, 52, joined the House in 2003 and became rules committee chairman under then-Speaker Thom Tillis after Republicans took over the General Assembly following the 2010 elections. Moore succeeded Tillis in 2015 when Tillis moved to the U.S. Senate.
Moore said in a news release that he was honored to be nominated for the job again.
“We have made great strides under the last 12 years of Republican leadership in North Carolina, and I am eager to get to work with my fellow members to continue the success and the growth that has made North Carolina a beacon to the rest of the nation,” he said.
Friday’s meeting came the same day that election boards in all North Carolina counties met to finalize their vote tabulations from the Nov. 8 general elections. The totals included qualifying absentee and provisional ballots.
The final counts appeared to confirm that House Republicans would remain one seat shy of obtaining a majority large enough to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto without the help of Democrats in most cases.
The Cabarrus County election board certified results showing Democrat Diamond Staton-Williams collecting 628 more votes than Republican Brian Echevarria in the 73rd House District race.
Staton-Williams’ advantage is about 2.3 percentage points, which is above the 1-point threshold for Echevarria to receive a recount. Short of any successful election protest favoring Echevarria, this result means Republicans will hold 71 seats.
In the other House race that had been too early to call, the Pitt County board certified results showing Republican Timothy Reeder defeating Democratic Rep. Brian Farkas by 354 votes for the 9th District seat. In a news release, Farkas accepted the results.
Senate Republicans gained two seats in elections this month, bringing them to a veto-proof majority of 30 spots in their 50-member chamber.
The State Board of Elections will meet on Nov. 29 to certify statewide results for federal, statewide, judicial and multicounty district contests. They include the race for U.S. Senate won by Republican Ted Budd and races for all 14 U.S. House seats.
The incoming Republican caucus also decided Friday it would support Rep. Sarah Stevens of Surry County for reelection as speaker pro tempore – considered the chamber’s No. 2 post. She’s held that job since 2017.
For caucus positions, Republicans reelected Rep. John Bell of Wayne County as majority leader, Rep. Brenden Jones of Columbus County as deputy leader and Rep. Jon Hardister of Guilford County as majority whip. Reps. Jason Saine of Lincoln County and Harry Warren of Rowan County also were chosen for leadership positions.
Senate Republicans will meet on Nov. 28 to choose their caucus leaders. Senate leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County has said he’ll seek reelection to the chamber’s top job, which he’s held since 2011. The GOP caucus will have to choose a successor to Majority Leader Kathy Harrington, who didn’t seek reelection to her Gaston County seat.