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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) will not seek a third term in the North Carolina Senate.

Goolsby says he wants to spend more time with his two young daughters and on his Wilmington law practice.

Even though he won’t run again, Goolsby says the seat will stay with the GOP.

“This is a Republican seat,” Goolsby said. “I know the liberals like to say it’s somehow a toss-up, but it’s never been a toss-up for me. I won by 16 or 17 points against (James) Leutze, and I beat my last opponent by twice the Republican handicap that we already had on it, so it was 8 or 9 points then. We’ve always won this seat strongly and will continue to do so.”

Goolsby, who says he is “a citizen legislator, not a career politician,” won the Senate seat in 2010 by beating out Leutze, the former chancellor of UNCW. He won reelection in 2012 by defeating attorney Deb Butler in a highly contentious and often personal campaign.

Goolsby points to New Hanover County’s falling unemployment rate as a key accomplishment during his time in office. He also helped engineer legislation that effectively ended forced annexation in North Carolina, which had become of special importance locally after the City of Wilmington annexed much of Monkey Junction.

While Goolsby quickly became an outspoken member of the General Assembly, he also became a lightning rod for criticism.

“Thom Goolsby represents everything that is wrong with the reckless Republican agenda, from gutting public education to his cold-hearted support of ending benefits for thousands of jobless North Carolinians,” Micah Beasley, a North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman said in a news release. “Rather than face the voters in his district, Sen. Goolsby chose to retire, instead.”

A champion of sorts for many conservative issues, liberal groups often attacked him for his views on issues like abortion and the death penalty, though he also sponsored a bill making human trafficking a sex crime in North Carolina. He gained statewide attention last year when he referred to the Moral Monday protests in Raleigh as “Moron Mondays.” Those protests eventually found their way to his downtown Wilmington office.

Many names are already being tossed around for possible successors to Goolsby. Republican Rick Catlin will not be one of them. Catlin, who is currently in the middle of his first term in the NC House representing part of New Hanover County, said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger asked him to run for the seat. Catlin says he gave it some thought, but decided to honor his commitment as the Republican’s freshman leader in the House.

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38 Comments on "Goolsby won’t seek reelection to NC Senate"

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Lisa's Two Cents
2016 years 2 months ago

I did not exactly hear him say he wasn’t running for Congress. There have been a lot of “Not Exactlys”, from this lawyer, over the last several years.

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The Unknown Truth Teller
2016 years 2 months ago

In other words….. this “Citizen Legislator” is probably getting ready for another run, this time, for Congress.

Cut all this ‘Mr.Smith Goes To Washington’ stuff.

Are there really any straight-forward, non-career, politicians out there ?

Guest
Gramps1945
2016 years 2 months ago

GKirk- I believe you’re right.

Something tells me, in a few months we’ll be hearing……
“I wanted so badly to leave the ugly world of politics, and be with my family. But the community is crying out for me, and I must go out and serve in Washington. I am not a politician. As much as I hate politics, I can’t let Wilmington, or our children’s future down. After prayerful consideration, Yada Yada Yada”………

He comes across as a Republican Conservative, to serve the people. All he serves is himself, and the lawyer lobby, self-interests, in Raleigh. The last thing we need is… Read more »

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Lisa's Two Cents
2016 years 2 months ago

When you sit on top of a flagpole, everyone sees your bottom side.

Guest
jack spratt
2016 years 2 months ago

Gonna miss the coiner of the apt term “moron Monday.” Well said, Thom.

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