Apodaca resigns from Senate seat

Posted July 15, 2016

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, sits in his legislative office with a picture of his dog, Raleigh.

— Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the influential, occasionally pugnacious but always entertaining chairman of the state Senate Rules Committee, resigned his seat on Friday.

"It has been the honor of my lifetime to represent and serve the people of Western North Carolina in the State Senate," Apodaca said in a prepared statement. "It was a privilege to serve in such a special institution, and I am grateful for the many friendships formed with constituents and colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

Apodaca served 14 years in the Senate, most of those in the minority party. He was catapulted into a key role when Republicans took control of the General Assembly following the 2010 election.

"Most importantly, please know how much I value and appreciate my family for their patience, love and unwavering support over the past 14 years," he said.

Apodaca became the enforcer and lead tactician for the new Republican majority, complementing the policy vision laid out by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. The two formed a team similar to the Democratic duo of former Sens. Marc Basnight and Tony Rand. Apodaca frequently said he counted Rand as a mentor in the job.

"I can't overstate the impact Tom Apodaca had on (North Carolina General Assembly)," Berger said via Twitter Friday morning. "He's one of my closest friends. I wish him well in retirement."

Apodaca had already said he would not seek re-election. However, resigning his seat early would allow him to return to Raleigh as a lobbyist in January. Had he served out his term, he would have been excluded from lobbying for the bulk of next year's long session because of a mandatory six-month waiting period for former lawmakers before they can lobby the General Assembly.

"I've got a lot of options, and government relations is one of those options," Apodaca said by phone Friday morning. He said that job prospects that have come in during the past two days may change his plans. "You never know what may happen."


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  • George Herbert Jul 17, 2016
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    It's time to change the law to make it so that former legislators cannot become lobbyists for the term following when they last serve in the General Assembly.

  • Stacie Hagwood Jul 17, 2016
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    It is like cancer, if you leave parts of the tumor (Berger) behind, it can still inflict harm. There is a whole lot more surgery that needs to take place.

  • Clarence Hill Jul 16, 2016
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    Shrewd politician. Now the GOP and Governor can replace him and that person would have incumbent status on the November ballot.

  • Jim Bradshaw Jul 15, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    The session is over, why not go on and resign? He had already stated he was not running for re-election.

  • Carol Smith Jul 15, 2016
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    all of them need o resign.

  • Jim Frei Jul 15, 2016
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    Another republican quitter in the vein of Sarah Palin. And with a name like Apodaca, I would like to see his birth certificate; you know he ain't from around here.