Rep. Rick Glazier, one of the chief floor debaters for the Democrats in the House, will resign his position to become executive director of the nonprofit N.C. Justice Center.
Glazier, who represented Fayetteville in the House for 13 years, announced his intentions Tuesday. He had especially focused on education issues.
A news release from the left-leaning center, which includes N.C. Policy Watch and the Budget & Tax Center, said Glazier will “begin leading the organization once the current legislative session ends.”
“I eagerly look forward to assisting in the Center’s vital mission of making this state a kinder, safer and better place for all who reside and work here,” Glazier said in a statement.
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State Republican Party executive director Todd Poole issued a critical statement that said Glazier was joining an anti-Republican think tank that “has been the brain, mouthpiece, and echo chamber for the radical left’s obstructionism and criticism of Republican policies for years...”
“...You can expect it to push more false talking points to try and obstruct the Carolina Comeback,” Poole said.
Francis De Luca, president of the conservative Civitas Institute, said Glazier should immediately resign his seat in the General Assembly.
“It appears that the Justice Center has bought themselves an actual seat at the table for the rest of the session,” De Luca said.
He noted the N.C. Justice Center is staffed by 45 employees that includes lobbyists.
“If you are going to work for a political organization and are a legislator – you should just leave,” De Luca said. “Doesn’t matter if it is left or right leaning.”
Glazier told Dome he will not resign until this year’s session is complete.
Glazier said it is important that he “fulfill my obligations to constituents” and not leave his seat open in the midst of the lawmaking session.
He said that the N.C. Justice Center does not sponsor or run individual bills, and that he would recuse from voting or making decisions on any issue that is a conflict.
Glazier, who has led House and joint committees on ethics, said he has consulted about the new position with legislative ethics staff and there is “no issue.”
“But it is one of the reasons I made the announcement now – to be open and transparent about it,” Glazier said.
House Speaker Tim Moore, in a statement, offered only praise.
“Though our party affiliations do not align,” the speaker said in a statement, “Representative Glazier is a true friend and has been an unwavering advocate for the people of North Carolina and Cumberland County. He stood firm for his convictions, yet was a key player in bipartisan negotiations in the House, and will be missed by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”