News: Quick Takes

State Senate Republicans select Harrington to lead caucus

Image from Sen. Kathy Harrington's Facebook page
Image from Sen. Kathy Harrington's Facebook page

Republicans within the N.C. Senate have elected Kathy Harrington unanimously to serve as their majority leader. She’s the first woman to hold the job.

“It’s such an honor to have earned the faith and trust of my colleagues for this leadership position,” Harrington, R-Gaston, said in a news release. “North Carolina has been well-served by the past decade of low taxes, responsible spending, and investments in education, and I’m excited to work with my colleagues to continue that agenda.”

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, endorsed his colleagues’ decision. “Sen. Harrington is a powerful voice in the caucus and works tirelessly behind the scenes,” Berger said in the same news release. “You may not read about her very often in the paper, but she’s a force in the Senate. I’m excited about her election, and I know she’ll do a wonderful job.”

Harrington is the first female majority leader for either Republicans or Democrats since the Senate created the position in 1977, according to the news release. First elected in 2010, Harrington served as a co-chair of the Senate’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee during the last two years.

She succeeds Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, who is retiring after serving the past decade as majority leader.

Majority leader represents the No. 2 leadership position within the majority caucus, ranking behind only the president pro tempore. Berger will serve a sixth term in that position.

Republicans also named Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, as deputy president pro tempore. The Republican caucus will hold a 28-22 majority over Democrats when the new General Assembly convenes in January.