Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) was picked on Saturday by Republicans to be their candidate for the Speaker of the House.
By leading a field of six GOP candidates, he is all but assured of replacing Sen.-elect Thom Tillis as head of the Republican-led House. The official selection will come in January, but with Republicans holding a bulletproof majority in the House, Moore’s triumph then is all but certain.
Moore won a majority of the votes of the 73 Republicans currently in the House in a first-round vote.
Moore faced Reps. Justin Burr (R-Montgomery), Mitchell Setzer (R-Catawba), John Blust (R-Guilford), Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) and Bryan Holloway (R-Rockingham) in the internal election.
Moore, a Kings Mountain resident, has served in the House since 2002, when he beat out incumbent Democrat, and then-majority whip, Andy Dedmon.
Moore’s influence grew with the Republican takeover and he went on to chair the Rules Committee.
Analysts predict the Moore will continue the line the House has followed since taking a majority, which is reflected in Moore’s own words.
Moore said that he is excited to take the helm and continue with the mission the Republican Party has been pushing since taking the majority: creating a climate of deregulation and lower taxes, allowing business opportunities to flourish in the state, and getting people back to work.
“With a successful November election behind us and new leadership in place, I am anxious to continue to do the work the people elected me to do and to continue to implement policies in the Long Session that move our state forward,” Moore said.
“I am committed to improving North Carolina through greater economic opportunity, less burdensome regulations and a new vision for educating and equipping our students. We cannot forget the great responsibility that the voters have entrusted with us. I intend to serve the people of North Carolina as a solutions-based leader of this institution who values conservative ideals and stands for common-sense governing.”
Moore pointed to two years of successful growth in the state, including paying back nearly $2 billion in unemployment funding to the federal government.
“We’ve paid off nearly $2 billion in debt owed to the federal government, reformed an outdated tax system that now puts more money in the pockets of North Carolinians, given educators a substantial pay raise, and taken an active look at some of the most burdensome regulations facing businesses across North Carolina,” Moore said.
Republicans passed through an average 7 percent pay increase for teachers in the budget passed this past session.
Moore also lauded Republican action on a voter identification law meant to inspire increased confidence in elections across the state.
“We also acted on the voter’s will by improving the real and perceived integrity of our elections with common-sense changes that place us in the mainstream of states on election administration and procedure,” he said.
The last provision of the Voter Identification and Verification Act are set to go into affect in 2016, when photo IDs will be required to vote in the 2016 elections.
Tillis expresses approval
Tillis released a statement following the vote showing his support for Moore, whose effectiveness as a legislator was only second to Tillis’ in the last session.
“Tim has been a valuable asset to the House leadership team and I am glad that the House of Representatives will be left in his capable hands,” he said in a statement.
Tillis was aided during his campaign by fundraising efforts and stumping from Moore.
Moore’s fundraising during the Midterm Election exceeded the other five candidates in the running.
2014 session in review
Of the six candidates, Moore served as primary sponsor to more bills that made it into law than the other candidates, as well as taking the highest percentage of bills sponsored making it to law at 75 percent.
Other House leaders
Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) was chosen to remain as speaker pro tem. Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherford) will move up from majority whip to majority leader and John Bell (R-Wayne) will take Hager’s place as majority whip.
Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg) will take over from Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) as conference leader going into the 2016 elections.
For the Democrats, Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham) was selected for a second term as minority leader.