Jon Hardister to leave North Carolina House seat early

State Rep. Jon Hardister is resigning his post in North Carolina House District 59, effective April 8. He announced the move to General Assembly colleagues in a letter this week, according to WRAL.

Hardister did not seek re-election this year as he ran instead for state Labor Commissioner. His term would have ended at the end of this year, after the November General Election determined a successor.

But Hardister is leaving prematurely, writing in his letter that he plans to seek work in the private sector, though he has not ruled out a potential return to politics in the future.

Hardister won a seat in the Legislature in 2012 following a Tea Party wave that brought Republicans to power in North Carolina. First elected in just his 20s, the lawmaker — now in his early 40s — serves as House Deputy Majority Whip.

He lost his bid for Labor Commissioner earlier this year in the GOP Primary to Luke Farley, who is running on a campaign platform to “Make Elevators Great Again,” an entertaining play on words that combines former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan with Farley’s work inspecting elevators.

Farley faces Democrat Braxton Winston in the General Election. Winston previously served as a Charlotte City Council member, while Farley is a political newcomer.

In the race to replace Hardister, Democrat Tanneshia Dukes, a former assistant principal, is facing former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson, who owns a trucking business.

Hardister’s district covers the suburbs east of Greensboro. Democrats have a voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district, with 37% of the electorate compared to just 30% for the GOP. However, nonpartisan voters make up about 32% of the electorate, according to the most recent L2 voter data.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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