A North Carolina state House member who won’t seek reelection next year says having to serve in the minority in the chamber has been “worse than a dental appointment.”
Mecklenburg County Democratic Rep. John Autry, who is among the more liberal members in the House, joined the General Assembly in 2017. Republicans have controlled the House and Senate since then, including veto-proof majorities in 2017, 2018 and 2023. Democrats have been unable to uphold any of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s 19 vetoes this year.
Autry, who announced this week he would not run for reelection, has spoken often in the House opposing Republican legislation perceived as harming the environment or restricting LGBTQ+ rights.
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Action at the legislature “doesn’t have anything to do with what is good policy. It’s just too frustrating for me,” Autry, a former Charlotte city council member, told WFAE radio. You just walk around the building and feel like you get your teeth kicked in every 20 minutes.
The 100th House District he represents remains heavily Democratic after the General Assembly enacted a new House map last month.
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Autry is the latest incumbent to announce they aren’t running again or are seeking another elected position in 2024.
Recently added to that list is Guilford County Republican Rep. John Faircloth, who has served as a chair of the House budget-writing committee and been heavily involved in law enforcement legislation. Now 84, Faircloth said his age and the demands of the job are driving him to retirement at the end of his seventh two-year term, The High Point Enterprise reported.
A former High Point police chief who later served on the city council, Faircloth was heavily involved with crafting the state law that says police body camera video is not a public record but lays out how it can be released with court approval.
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The 62nd House District that Faircloth represents, as redrawn for the 2024 elections, appears to lean slightly Republican, according to statewide election data.