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McGrady to seek re-election

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Rep. Chuck McGrady announced on Tuesday that he will seek re-election to another term in the North Carolina House of Representatives following meetings with Henderson County business and community leaders. McGrady has served in the state House for seven years and is a former Henderson County Commissioner and Flat Rock Village Council member.

“After consulting with a wide-range of Henderson County’s business and community leaders following the recent legislative sessions, I’ve decided to seek re-election,” McGrady said. “There is still work to complete on some difficult water and sewer issues affecting Henderson County, and my background in local government and as an environmental leader make me uniquely qualified to help resolve these matters.”

“Similarly, Henderson County’s craft brewers, cideries, and wineries seek changes to outdated state regulation of alcoholic beverages, and as co-chair of the House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee, I’m well-positioned to help them continue to grow.” These industries have a statewide annual economic impact of over $3 billion and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

McGrady admits to having vacillated on re-election in 2016 and this cycle. Two years ago, he said he was ready to retire if state Sen. Tom Apodaca would stay on. But when Apodaca, a more senior member, resigned in the summer of 2016, McGrady stayed on. This year, he said he would have been ready to go if a qualified candidate had come forward.

“While it has been a great honor to represent District 117 in the NC House, I hadn’t expected to run for re-election again,” McGrady said in the news release. “However, several well-qualified leaders in Henderson County indicated that they were not yet ready to run for the House seat in 2018. By 2020, I expect that several strong candidates will step forward to run for the seat.”

McGrady is co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which writes the state’s annual budget. In recent years, he’s played an important role in securing funding for a number of local-area projects, including a new medical school, improvements at the DuPont State Recreational Forest, and renovations to both the WNC Farmers Market and the WNC Agricultural Center. He’s worked closely with Henderson County’s economic development arm, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, to attract new companies to Henderson County by reforming burdensome state regulations on business.

District 117 includes about two-thirds of Henderson County, and freshman Rep. Cody Henson (R-Transylvania) represents southern Henderson County. Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson), who represents all of Transylvania and Henderson Counties and part of Buncombe County, is also a freshman, having replaced Sen. Tom Apodaca in 2016.

McGrady is the senior Republican House Member from western North Carolina and is a key lieutenant to House Speaker Tim Moore, who has tapped McGrady for a number of leadership posts. Former House Speaker and current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis also named McGrady to key positions, including co-chair of the House Education Appropriations Committee and, following the coal ash spill in the Dan River in 2014, the House’s lead sponsor of North Carolina’s first-in-the-nation coal ash management law.

“Henderson County has been blessed by a series of strong legislators that have represented the county over the past three decades — including Republican Senator Tom Apodaca and Democratic Senator Clark Plexico, and Republican Representatives Larry and Carolyn Justus — all of whom served as committee chairs while serving in the legislature. I’m seeking reelection, in part, because Henderson County needs my experience and seniority in the legislature at this time.”