Rucho to retire in 2016

Posted November 5, 2015

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg

— State Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said Thursday he will not run for re-election in 2016.

Rucho, a dentist from Matthews, has been the main architect of tax reform in the Senate since Republicans took the majority in 2011.

"Everything I went to Raleigh to do, I‘ve gotten done," Rucho told WRAL News. "When you’ve done everything you said you were going to do and you can step away, that’s a victory."

Rucho, 67, has spent 17 years in the state Senate. He served from 1997 to 2004, leaving when he was "double-bunked" – placed in the same district with another lawmaker – in the Democratic redistricting map. He returned in 2008, when now-Congressman Robert Pittenger resigned his seat to run for lieutenant governor, and has served ever since.

"It’s been eight years and then another eight or nine," Rucho said. "It’s time for someone else."

He said he's proud of the work he'd done, rattling off a list of policy initiatives he has backed, from tax cuts and the unemployment system overhaul to voter identification, redistricting and natural gas drilling.

"Promises made and promises delivered," he said. "How many politicians can say that? Not many."

Rucho joins a rapidly growing list of state lawmakers who plan to retire from the General Assembly next year.

Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, has already announced he won't seek re-election. And Sens. Josh Stein, D-Wake, and Buck Newton, R-Nash, are both running for state Attorney General in 2016. Under state law, they cannot also run for re-election to the Senate.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, has said he's considering retiring, but hasn't yet made a decision.

House lawmakers who will not seek re-election to their seats next year include:

  • Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake
  • Rep. Leo Daughtry, R-Johnston
  • Rep. James Langdon, R-Johnston
  • Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, R- Mecklenburg
  • Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson
  • Rep. Nathan Baskerville, D-Vance
  • Rep. Paul Tine, U-Dare
  • Rep. Rick Catlin, R-New Hanover

Rep. Brian Brown, R-Pitt, and Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Stokes, both resigned their seats in October to take other positions. Brown is working for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, and Holloway will lobby for the North Carolina School Boards Association.


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  • Dolly Butler Nov 5, 2015
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    Nobody crying about Mr. Rucho's Departure from the N.C. Senate. Hope he doesn't think about running for some other Office. Sure hope we can un-do all the things that he did.

  • Terry Lightfoot Nov 5, 2015
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    great to see so many Repubs retiring, especially Paul Skip Stam, let's get competent people in their place to undo their damage.

  • Sean Creasy Nov 5, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    ... I was going to say the same thing but you beat me to it!! After filing my taxes last year I couldn't help but feel like I was raped by the state. I claim 0 deductions over the years and have always gotten around $100 back up until last year.. Care to guess what my check was last year? A whole $7.63. It is time to clear out sandbaggers like him who want to give our tax money away like it is nothing!!

  • Raleigh Rose Nov 5, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I agree, but us Democratic voters need to get out and vote. At every election!

  • Bob Bruck Nov 5, 2015
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    Destroy the State and get outta Dodge!
    Nice MO!

  • Carol Smith Nov 5, 2015
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    Now if only all of them would go home!!!! North Carolina cannot be cleaned up until all the hogs are out of the water!

  • Melanie Lane Nov 5, 2015
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    gotta love how all these republicans are retiring. You guys elected them, they came in and have passed so many ALEC laws that will haunt NC and america for years and then they go home so that they don't have to face the responsibility for their actions. Thanks republican voters.