Tim Moore Says He Won’t Seek Re-Election as NC House Speaker

Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, gavels in a session as North Carolina in 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, file)

By Michael McElroy

July 17, 2023

Moore has presided over substantial changes to North Carolina laws, including a 12-week abortion ban, several moves to diminish the governor’s power and laws targeting LGBTQ students. 

Speaker of the North Carolina state House Tim Moore will not seek re-election to the leadership post next year, he confirmed to reporters on Monday.

While he did not rule out running for his seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives again, he did not go into details about his future plans, the Associated Press reported. 

With a veto-proof supermajority in the House this legislative session, courtesy of a party defection from Tricia Cotham, Moore has presided over substantial changes to North Carolina laws and governance, including a 12-week abortion ban, several moves to diminish the governor’s power (and increase the legislature’s), and laws that target LGBTQ students. 

He also led efforts to draw highly partisan election maps that will all but ensure Republican dominance in the purple state, and helped Republicans win control of the state’s Supreme Court  in the 2022 midterms. 

And the legislative session is not over yet.

While many bills have gotten bipartisan support, Republicans are poised to pass highly contentious legislation that further defunds public schools and strengthens private schools, rewrites election laws to make it harder to vote, and adopts a budget that offers limited raises for teachers and state workers while significantly cutting taxes for the highest earners.

Moore told Republican lawmakers last year of his decision not to seek the speakership again, he told the AP.

Last month, a man whose wife started a sexual relationship with Moore filed a lawsuit accusing the speaker of breaking up their marriage. The man’s wife, however, said they were no longer together when the relationship with Moore began, and accused her ex-husband of emotional abuse. 

Moore, who is not married, denied any wrongdoing, and lawyers for both sides last week said the lawsuit had been resolved.

None of this factored into the decision not to seek re-election, Moore and several Republicans told the AP. The decision had been made and been communicated a year before that news came to light, they said. 

Here’s what else the Associated Press has to say about Moore:

Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, has served in the House since 2003 and was first elected speaker in 2015 while succeeding now-U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis. 

He helped push a conservative fiscal and social agenda through the General Assembly with Senate leader Phil Berger and built GOP seat margins back to veto-proof majorities.

Moore, 52, said in an interview that he told fellow House Republican leaders in spring 2022 about his plans not to run for speaker after the 2023-24 term ends. And he said he told the current GOP membership the same thing last fall when they assembled their slate of candidates for chamber positions.

“All of my caucus members knew — I made it clear that this is my last term as speaker,” Moore said, adding that he would serve out his term through the end of 2024. A successful run for speaker by any Republican in 2025 is contingent on the GOP retaining a majority in the chamber.

Leading up to the 2022 elections, Moore weighed running for a congressional seat in a potentially open district west of Charlotte, but he declined. Then-U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn initially announced he wanted to run in that region. The congressional lines ultimately had to be redrawn last year and Cawthorn ran and lost in another mountain-area district.

The General Assembly will again redraw the state’s 14 U.S. House districts later this year in time for the 2024 elections, raising the potential for Moore to run for Congress now.

When asked Friday about his future, Moore didn’t reject running for his state House seat again in 2024. Some previous speakers over the past 30 years have remained rank-and-file members of the legislature.

Still, Moore said he would be “looking at potentially other offices or other options.”


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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