House Republicans select 2013 leaders

Posted December 15, 2012 3:16 p.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2012 4:11 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina House Republicans Caucus selected its leaders Saturday for the 2013-14 General Assembly session, finalizing the group's structural organization and paving the way for committee assignments in the coming weeks. 

Last month, the 77 Republicans unanimously selected House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Meccklenburg) to a second term. On Saturday, the group selected Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) as House Speaker Pro-Tem and R. Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) as Majority Leader.

Starnes is a nine-term  House member from Hickory who served as House Finance chairman last session. Starnes developed a reputation as an advocate for maintaining strict regulations on the sale of alcohol.

Harnett County Rep. David Lewis was also in the running for Majority Leader. A five-term House member, Lewis chaired the Elections, Redistricting and Elections Oversight committees last session.

Stam previously served as Majority leader during the 2011-12 session, and he also chaired a House Judiciary subcommittee and the Legislative Ethics Committee. 

Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) was unanimously selected as the House Republican Conference Leader, a new role that will take on many of the political duties historically assigned to the Majority Leader. 

"I am confident in the abilities of our leadership team," Tillis said in a statement. "With our leaders in place, we can make progress toward organizing the House quickly to ensure an efficient and effective 2013 session."

The state House is made up of 120 members. The selections for Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore won't become official until the legislature reconvenes on Jan. 9.