Several Prominent Lawmakers Departing General Assembly

Dec 27, 2018

File photo of the North Carolina legislative building.
Credit Dave DeWitt / WUNC

This marks the final week at the State Legislature for several notable incumbents.

Although change in government is constant, the number of influential lawmakers departing this month is unusual. Twelve Republican incumbents were defeated during the midterm – seven from the House, five in the Senate. House conservatives were all eliminated in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties, while Republicans lost one senator each from Wake, Meck, Guilford, Cumberland and New Hanover.

Among the legislators leaving are Senator Tamara Barringer, considered a relative moderate, who has advocated for foster children.

Nelson Dollar, a seven-term House Republican from Wake County, was defeated in November. He has served as a lead budget writer, and emerged as one of the most powerful conservatives in the chamber.

And Bill Brawley, who chairs the appropriations committee, heads back to the Charlotte area following a narrow loss.

Several lawmakers are also retiring, including Mickey Michaux, the 88-year-old Democrat from Durham who was first elected to the House in 1972 and is a civil rights activist and a walking relic of North Carolina. The Senate is saying goodbye to Tommy Tucker, Republican of Union County, after four terms.

When the new legislature begins its work next month, there will only be one Republican total from the two largest counties in the state and Democrats will no longer be opposed by a veto proof majority. The new legislature will be sworn in on January 9.