N.C. House Majority Leader Mike Hager says he’ll resign his seat in the legislature effective Tuesday.
Hager, a Republican from Rutherford County, is one of House Speaker Tim Moore’s top lieutenants, but he’s occasionally clashed with other leaders and sided with a more conservative wing of the House GOP caucus.
“My time serving has been the most humbling and rewarding experience to serve my constituents and develop many great friendships with them and colleagues along the way,” Hager said in a news release Monday. “After much prayer and consideration, it is time to spend more time with my family and pursue other opportunities.”
Hager’s news release didn’t mention what those “other opportunities” might be, but on Saturday he told Time Warner Cable News reporter Loretta Boniti that he’s “considering consulting/lobbying positions.”
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With Hager’s resignation coming just a few months before the election, Republican Party leaders in his district – Rutherford and a portion of Burke County – will pick a replacement to run for his seat.
Hager didn’t have an opponent until recently, when Spindale Town Councilman Ben Edwards successfully gathered enough petition signatures to get on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
“My campaign to represent the hard-working citizens of the 112th district is not changed by the resignation of my opponent,” Edwards wrote in a Facebook post after Hager’s announcement. “Everyone deserves representation, no matter their political affiliation; our diversity is a great strength.”
Also Monday, Republican Rep. Rick Catlin of Wilmington resigned his seat in the House. Catlin wasn’t running for re-election, but his early departure will allow New Hanover County Republican Party leaders to select a replacement. It will likely pick Holly Grange, who won the GOP primary in March and doesn’t face a Democratic opponent for the seat.
The two departures follow the resignation of Republican Rep. Charles Jeter of Mecklenburg County. Jeter, who served as the Republican conference chair, stepped down on July 25 amid a heated re-election campaign.