RALEIGH – Republican North Carolina Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) has served in the state legislature for a decade and a half, serving as majority leader of a Republican senate majority for the last several years, but his run in the General Assembly is coming to an end after eight terms. Sen. Brown announced that he will not be seeking reelection in 2020.
“After nearly 16 years in the Senate, I feel like it’s the appropriate time to focus on my family and businesses. When I was first elected, I ran on three things: do something for career and technical education, tax policy and term limits. With the completion of Onslow County School’s regional skills center and North Carolina’s tax climate being one of the best in the nation, I felt it was time to check off the last goal, so to say,” Senator Brown said.
During Brown’s tenure in the General Assembly he fought against the profligacy of Democratic majorities and governors and, after Republicans won majorities, shepherded through historic tax cuts for individuals and businesses, slashed overly restrictive regulations, and enacted fiscal reforms that transformed debt and shortfalls into surpluses and savings funds.
As the senate’s chief budget writer since 2004, Brown was instrumental in tightening state government’s belt out of respect for taxpayers and efficient governance. From the Jacksonville area in Onslow County, he had several military bases in his district and worked doggedly to ensure their robust operations in North Carolina in the face of base closure and realignment initiatives in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Of Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said “I’m thankful for Senator Brown’s leadership in the Senate. From day one he’s been dedicated to improving the lives of rural North Carolinians. He’ll be missed by all in the Senate, but I’m happy he’ll have the opportunity to focus on his businesses and spend time with his five grandchildren.”
With those kind of references, and that legislative resume, Brown’s political career might merely be taking a breather, rather than hanging it up for good. The current congressional redistricting scrum notwithstanding, the 2020 census will lead to yet another redistricting in 2021 that will result the expected shake ups and in North Carolinians earning a 14th seat on Capitol Hill. As such, Brown may find himself well positioned for higher office down the road. Spending time running real businesses and soaking up the real value of family should be a good grounding for promoting more conservative policy in the future.