State Rep. Mark Hilton will not seek a seventh term in the state legislature, he told his hometown newspaper The Hickory Daily Record Tuesday afternoon.
Hilton, a Catawba County Republican who lists his occupation as a police officer for a security company Delta Company Police, told the newspaper he wanted to spend more time with his family and concentrate on his work. He said he’ll finish out his term at the end of 2012.
He made the announcement through an emailed statement to the newspaper, saying “Representing the constituents of the 96th District for six terms in the House has been one of the highest honors of my life. But, the time has come for me to spend more time at home with my family, and allow someone else the opportunity to serve the citizens of Catawba County.”
Hilton also told the newspaper that his decision to step down had nothing to do with a 2007 loan he took out from one of two non-profits run by embattled GOP lawmaker Stephen LaRoque. N.C. Policy Watch has reported extensively in recent months on the questionable management of LaRoque’s non-profits, which included LaRoque receiving generous salaries of up to $195, 000 and approving a $150,000 loan of federal money that Hilton used to buy mobile homes. Click here to read our original investigation. State Sen. Debbie Clary also received a loan of USDA money from LaRoque’s non-profit.
LaRoque took a four-year hiatus from the legislature after being voted out and was not in the legislature at the time the 2007 loan was made. Hilton was, and said he’s since paid two-thirds of the loan off.
In the Daily Record article, Hilton called N.C. Policy Watch “socialist” and “anti-business.”
An ethics inquiry into LaRoque’s business is underway at the state legislature, where a bipartisan committee is deciding if LaRoque ran the non-profit in line with the ethical rules that govern state lawmakers.