Education

State senate education committee leader will not seek re-election

Sen. Rick Horner, R-Johnson, Nash, Wilson

On Monday, the opening of the filing period for the 2020 General Election brought news from a key Republican senator who announced he will not seek re-election.

In a Facebook posting, Rick Horner,  chairman of the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee, cited the frequently changing shape of District 11, which covers Nash, Johnston and Wilson counties, for his decision.

“Unfortunately, District 11 has changed shape three times in three elections and the 2020 Census is certain to bring yet another change,” Horner said. “Much to my regret, it simply is not in the best interest of my family to seek re-election in 2020.”

Horner was elected to lead District 11 in November 2016.

In the past weeks, several members of the GOP have announced they will not seek re-election, including Senate majority leader Harry Brown, an Onslow County Republican who has served eight terms.

Brown said he plans to focus on his business and family.

Both Brown and Horner have been influential players in the GOP-led General Assembly. Brown as a key budget writer and Horner led the Senate’s pivotal education committee.

The GOP could also lose Rep. Craig Horn, co-chairman of the House Education Committee, if he decides to run for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Sen. Rick Gunn of Burlington and Rep. Debra Conrad of Winston-Salem have also announced that they will not seek another term.

And on the Democratic side of the aisle, Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. of Durham will resign to serve on the state Utilities Commission and Rep. MaryAnn Black, also of Durham, has announced she will not seek re-election.

The filing period ends at noon on Dec. 20.

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