BUNCOMBE COUNTY – With the recent retirement announcement of Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Henderson and the powerful Senate Rules committee chairman, the buzz on Jones street is all about who might make a run at his seat.
The latest speculation is that former Representative Tim Moffitt and David Guice from the Department of Public Safety, are both considering getting on the Buncombe county campaign trail to replace Apodaca in the District 48 state senate seat. According to the Transylvania Times, Republican Chuck Edwards has announced that he will file to run for the seat. Edwards is a small businessman from Henderson County. They would have big shoes to fill.
“All good things must come to an end,” Apodaca said on Monday in his announcement. “The fact that a mountain bail bondsman with the last name of ‘Apodaca’ rose to become a legislative leader is proof that anything is possible in America. I’m proud that the conservative reforms we’ve passed have set North Carolina on a more fiscally responsible path. That was my goal all along.”
Apodaca was a driving force behind the march toward lower state spending and lower taxes that brought both applause and protests to the General Assembly.Moffitt lost his bid for re-election in 2012 to democrat Brian Turner after representing district 116 in western North Carolina. He has three boys and owns Moffitt International, an executive search firm. He’s known for taking a pro-business stance in public policy. In addition to Apodaca’s seat, Guice, who is the commissioner of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, also has the option of running for Rep. Chris Whitmire’s House seat. Whitmire announced earlier this week that he would not seek re-election. Guice held that 113 seat after being elected in 2008. He focused his legislative efforts on justice and public safety policy. He has two children and three grandchildren.
Guice and Moffitt have not returned calls for comment. December first marked the opening of the candidate filing period, and with the primary season just four months with the new March 15 primary date, campaign watchers say they expect announcements soon.
Apodaca’s retirement creates a seat opening in western North Carolina, but it also leaves the gavel of the powerful rules committee up for grabs.