Steinburg formally announces candidacy for state Senate

By on November 14, 2017

First District State Rep. Bob Steinburg of Edenton formally announced Monday he will seek the Republican nomination for the N.C. Senate First District seat, setting up a primary showdown with Dare County businessman Clark Twiddy.

Steinburg is in his third term representing Currituck, Camden, Perquimans, Chowan, Tyrrell and a portion of Pasquotank counties, and is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

“America is great because its people are God-fearing, good people like we have in northeast North Carolina,” Steinburg said in a press release.

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Steinburg made his intentions known in August that he would likely run for Senate.

“The political establishment would happily sweep aside our beliefs,” Steinburg added. “I cannot let that happen.”

New proposed legislative district maps shift Beaufort County into the Third District, leading to current First District Republican Senator and Chocowinity resident Bill Cook to announce he would not seek another term next year.

If Steinburg had decided to run again in the House, he would shift to a district that includes Bertie, Camden Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties.

While a section of Beaufort exits, all of Hertford and Gates would would be added to the current First Senate District, creating the largest in the state for total number of counties.

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The change in district maps is still pending a final decision of a panel of three federal judges in Greensboro, who ruled the current maps were unconstitutional race-based gerrymanders.

When Twiddy announced he was switching from being a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2020, to running for the GOP state Senate nomination next year at the encouragement of Sen. Cook, Steinburg pulled no punches with his comments.

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Twiddy has not publicly responded to the comments.

Steinburg has consistently sided with the conservative Republican majority in the state House, most notably as a co-sponsor of the controversial House Bill 2 in 2016, more commonly known as the “Bathroom Bill”.

The measure that banned local anti-discrimination ordinances, including transgender use of public restrooms and other gender-specific facilities.

In his campaign announcement Monday, Steinburg reiterated his opposition to the compromise partial-repeal of the law earlier this year.

But Steinburg tried to buck the conservative majority on Jones Street this session on the repeal of the Outer Banks ban on plastic shopping bags.

Saying he would have originally opposed the ban if he had been a member of the House in 2009, he was willing to listen to the people if they wanted to keep the law in place.

“Residents and visitors on the Outer Banks have learned to adjust to it,” Steinburg noted in March. “They appreciate not seeing bags blowing everywhere in the bushes and sea oats.”

But after the separate bill failed to be heard in the state House, the repeal was stuck in an environmental regulatory omnibus measure during a special session in late August.

The bill passed the General Assembly, and then lawmakers voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.

Steinburg had an excused absence for the vote on House Bill 56, and later voted for the override. At the time, he said he had no choice but to support the overall measure because it contained money to fund studies of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

The unregulated compound used to make Teflon and other products at a chemical plant in Bladen County has been found in the main water supply of downstream systems, including Wilmington.

Steinburg is a member of the House Select Committee on North Carolina River Water Quality, which is probing the GenX controversy.

More recently, Steinburg called for the legislature to investigate problems in the state prison system brought to light after of five residents of his district who were employees at two area correctional institutions died in separate incidents.

He told The Charlotte Observer last week his goal is to review the entire prison system, “starting at the top and working our way down.”

“That is the only way to fix this thing,” he said. “There is no Band-Aid to put on this.”

He was appointed last Monday by House Speaker Tim Moore to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety.

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Comments

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November 14, 2017 7:45 pm

oh. thank God

what a massive improvement over crazy cook,

who’s not even from NC.

why would anyone ever vote for a tourist to represent them?

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