Republican Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, a champion of socially conservative issues, said Friday she won’t run for a third term.
Her announcement came hours after Republican Tim Morgan, vice chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, announced for her seat.
Schaffer said she’d made the decision months ago and it had nothing to do with Morgan’s announcement.
“I have been blessed with many professional opportunities that will not allow me the flexibility to seek another term in the House,” Schaffer wrote House GOP colleagues Friday.
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Schaffer said in addition to taking on a larger role at her family’s executive search firm, she’s “expanding my legal and consulting services to continue to work on issue areas in which I specialize.”
The year the second-term lawmaker championed some of the legislative session’s most socially conservative and controversial legislation. She was a prime sponsor of bills on religious freedom, restricting abortion and loosening control of guns.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, called Schaffer “an exemplary leader on issues of eternal importance to conservatives – pro-life reforms, religious freedom, and marriage and families.”
“I esteem her strength, intelligence, and resolve … accompanied by kindness, humility, and grace,” Fitzgerald said. “She will be greatly missed.”
She represents District 105, a southeast Mecklenburg County district that includes Ballantyne and stretches to the South Carolina and Union County lines.
Morgan said he plans to file organizational papers with the state elections board.
Morgan has been on the school board for six years and is in his third year as vice chair. He said he wants to focus on education, transportation and jobs.
“Part of my hope is to bring my education experience to Raleigh,” he said.
Morgan’s announcement reflects the accelerated schedule of the 2016 elections. Filing for office starts Dec. 1 for March 15 primaries.