Henderson County state representative Chuck McGrady will not seek re-election to his seat next year in the North Carolina General Assembly. The Republican lawmaker announced his decision Monday via email and social media, saying after five terms it's time for him to “turn my focus back home to my friends and family.”
McGrady is chairman on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which handles the state budget each legislative session. In an interview with BPR, McGrady said he accomplished much of what he set out to do in office, citing the passage of a bill and subsequent funding to end North Carolina's practice of prosecuting juveniles aged 16 and higher as adults as his most proud accomplishment. McGrady is also a chairman on the House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee. In the same interview with BPR, McGrady says much of the focus during his final months in office will be to continue his work on loosening and/or privatizing ABC liquor sales in North Carolina. "(I'd) like to get the government out of the sale and distribution of distilled spirits," McGrady says. "I don't know if we'll get there (in this session) but I've laid out a road map. If I can't get it passed, at least there's a road map for those who follow me."
McGrady also introduced two bills in this session dealing with making redistricting in North Carolina non-partisan. One would create an independent commission to re-draw legislative maps every 10 years, while the other would put the matter of non-partisan redistricting to voters next year via a proposed amendment to the state constitution. Neither passed at least one chamber in the General Assembly by last week's 'crossover day', a self-imposed deadline used to guage whether legislation has enough support to pass both the House and Senate. Bills that have not passed at least one chamber by 'crossover day' are almost assuredly dead through the end of next year. McGrady's fellow Republicans used the last round of redistricting to draw maps beneficial to their party's chances in Congressional and General Assembly elections, leading to numerous legal challenges and rulings that the maps were unconstitutional.
McGrady's decision to retire at the end of next year means both state representatives for Henderson County will be new in 2021. Fellow Republican Cody Henson announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election after he was charged with cyberstalking related to a domestic case involving his estranged wife.