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McGrady will resign from House to take NCDOT board seat

State Rep. Chuck McGrady said Saturday he plans to resign from his House seat next month before taking a seat on the North Carolina Board of Transportation.


House Speaker Tim Moore on Friday announced the appointment of McGrady and a Charlotte real estate developer to the board that was restructured as part of a reform plan McGrady helped guide through the Legislature last month. Senate President pro tem Phil Berger appointed two senators, who are resigning immediately to take their seats.

"In my case, I'm a full budget chair and after talking both with the speaker but also with the department, they're fine with my finishing my budget work probably in the month of September and at that point resigning and joining the board," he said. "On a 20-person board, I don't think my one vote is going to matter much."

McGrady has a substantial portfolio in road planning and transportation policy. He served on the Georgia Board of Transportation, was chair of the French Broad MPO, which guides transporation planning on a regional basis, and served on a statewide committee that looked at new ways to fund roadwork and other infrastructure.

McGrady"I've sort of been expecting that I would do a lot more transportation work in last year or so and that's been true," he said. "I was an early critic of the department handling of its cash flow. I took some hits but two audits later I was vindicated and this is sort of further vindication. I'm very much aware of the hard decisions that had to be made to balance the budget and aware of the deficiencies pointed out in the audit report."

When the NCDOT overspent its budget by $700 million, the state auditor laid blame in part on lax board oversight. The board had lost some of its management authority around 20 years ago amid complaints of political influence in road project prioritization. The new board is designed for more oversight of management and finances.

"I think we corrected that and got a better balance," he said, adding that "I raised my hand" and told Moore that his experience would make him the right appointee. "I'm looking forward to it. It seems like an appropriate glide path for my career to end up back doing transportation."

Besides McGrady, Moore also appointed Stephen Rosenburgh, founder, president and CEO of U.S. Developments, a real estate investment company. He previously served on the North Carolina Banking Commission, the City of Charlotte’s Housing Commission and Planning Commission, the Regional Transportation Board and the North Carolina Works Commission.

“Restructuring the Board of Transportation with legislative appointments will help our state avoid a repeat of the department’s overspending and develop a long-term financial vision for infrastructure projects that benefit all North Carolinians,” Moore said in a news release. “These appointees have a stellar record of public service and broad support from state leaders for their work on behalf of North Carolinians, and I appreciate their willingness to serve in this critical new initiative to fix infrastructure financing.”

The House speaker did not announce his third appointment to the board. The legislation that reformed the NCDOT practices and oversight created a 20-member board made up of 14 appointments by Cooper and three each by Moore and Berger.

McGrady's departure before his term expires in January sets up an appointment to fill an unexpired of an elected official for the fourth time in the past four years in Henderson County. State Sen. Chuck Edwards was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Tom Apodaca in 2016. A year ago, a committee of Republican Party leaders in the 113th House District nominated Polk County Commissioner Jake Johnson to fill the seat vacated by Cody Henson. And just last week, the county's Republican Party executive committee nominated Daniel Andreotta to fill the Board of Commissioners seat made vacant by the death of Charlie Messer. A committee made up of elected leaders, party officers and precinct committee chairs from House District 117 will recommend a replacement for McGrady to send to Gov. Roy Cooper, which the governor must accept.

McGrady said he expected the committee to appoint Tim Moffitt, the Republican nominee for the seat in the Nov. 3 election, to the seat, giving him the imprimatur of incumbency in the campaign.