The second-ranking Republican in the N.C. Senate will not run for re-election next year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow, revealed his decision in a news release from the Senate leader’s office.
“After nearly 16 years in the Senate, I feel like it’s the appropriate time to focus on my family and businesses,” Brown said in the release. “When I was first elected, I ran on three things: do something for career and technical education, tax policy, and term limits.
“With the completion of Onslow County Schools’ regional skills center and North Carolina’s tax climate being one of the best in the nation, I felt it was time to check off the last goal, so to say.”
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, praised Brown. “I’m thankful for Senator Brown’s leadership in the Senate,” Berger said in his office’s release. “From day one he’s been dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians. He’ll be missed by all in the Senate, but I’m happy he’ll have the opportunity to focus on his businesses and spend time with his five grandchildren.”
Berger’s office emphasizes Brown’s role as lead Senate budget writer since 2014. The release notes Brown’s support for rural broadband access and a state Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund. The statement also focuses on Brown’s role in promoting “military-friendly” legislation.
“Brown lists among his proudest achievements transformative budgeting practices that have helped fund school construction projects in struggling districts, common-sense regulatory reform, expanding economic opportunities in rural North Carolina, and controlling government spending,” according to the news release.
The Senate majority leader played an active role in recent months in the investigation of potential irregularities in permitting for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Brown also served as the chief legislative voice raising concerns over the potential negative impact of eastern N.C. wind-energy projects on military bases.
Brown is serving his eighth two-year term. Candidate filing for his replacement opens Monday, Dec. 2.