RALEIGH – After nearly 20 years as state lawmaker, including four terms in the N.C. House and just commencing his fifth term in the N.C. Senate, Republican Sen. Louis Pate (R-Lenoir) is retiring due to health reasons.
Pate has a distinguished career in the Air Force as well as the N.C. General Assembly, and it is not hard to elicit a kind word about the man from his colleagues and friends.
“Senator Pate is a decorated combat veteran. He served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 20 years. During his distinguished military career, Senator Pate earned multiple medals: the Distinguished Flying Cross; the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters; the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster; the Air Force Commendation Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
Senator Pate retired from the Air Force as a major in 1982. He navigated B-52 bombers, B-57 bombers, F-4 fighter-bombers, and F-111 Aardvarks, a supersonic attack aircraft, during his lengthy military career.
Between 1995 and 2008, Senator Pate served four terms in the N.C. House of Representatives. In 2011, Senator Pate became a member of the N.C. Senate, where he rose to Deputy President Pro Tempore. As a legislator, Senator Pate focused on healthcare policy, helping reform the state’s struggling and debt-burdened Medicaid program.
Sen. Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said Pate’s influence and work about continue to impact the General Assembly in the future.
“Senator Pate’s leadership and personal touch made this body more effective, and for that every Senator should be grateful,” Berger said in a prepared statement. “I know his legacy will continue to impact this body in the years ahead. It has been a privilege to serve the people of this state with a man of such character as Louis Pate.””
Being that Pate’s retirement is effective immediately, the Republican Party apparatus in his district will be the ones to select his replacement to serve until the next election.
“[…] executive committee members of the Lenoir County and Wayne County GOP Party will meet and form a combined executive committee to vote on a replacement for Pate, maybe by the end of the month.
A weighted voting system will be used by the planning organization of the N.C. GOP Party since Lenoir County has only 29 percent of the vote and Wayne County has 71 percent of the vote because there is a larger Republican Party in Wayne County […]
The weighted voting system is used when all voters do not have the same influence over the outcome of an election. Instead votes of different voters are given different weight. […]”
While Republicans in his district are probably sad to see Pate go, they may find a silver lining in that a new representative could breath new life into making their voices heard on Jones Street.
Read more from Kinston.com here.