Senator Thom Tillis (NC) to Keynote Reception.
Thom Tillis is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. After stints in New
Orleans and Nashville, he settled in Cornelius, NC, a northern suburb of
Charlotte, in 1998.
In 2003, he successfully ran for the Cornelius Town Commission. Following
his two-year term as commissioner, Tillis successfully ran for the
NC General Assembly in 2006. Tillis ran unopposed in three subsequent
reelection bids, in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Thom was campaign chairman for the House Republican Caucus in 2010. In that
year's elections, Republicans won a majority in the House for the first time
in almost 20 years. The House Republican Caucus selected Tillis to be the next
Speaker. On January 26, 2011 he became only the fifth Republican Speaker of
the House in NC history!
In May 2011, Governing magazine recognized Thom's potential and rise to the
top of the NC House and named Tillis one of 17 "GOP Legislators to Watch."
With Speaker Tillis at the helm, in the 2012 elections, the GOP added nine
seats to its majority, winning 77 of the 120 House seats. Following this
historic feat, Tillis was unanimously re-elected Speaker of the House by the
Republican Caucus in January 2013.
The proactive, business like attitude of Speaker Tillis was a welcome addition
to the NC General Assembly where a massive overhaul was needed after decades
of Democrat control. The state house, overseen by Tillis, enacted a complete
restructuring of the state's tax code, including a reduction of personal and
business income taxes, elimination of the estate tax, and a cap on the gas
tax. It has also passed legislation to sunset existing state rules and
regulations and limit new regulations to a ten year duration, unless renewed
by the state government.
In keeping with an earlier promise that he would serve only four terms in the
state house, Tillis announced that he would not run for re-election to the
legislature again. Instead, he chose to run for U.S. Senate in the
2014 election against first-term incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. He successfully
defeated Senator Hagan in one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 election
In his few short months in office, he has already drawn the attention and
ire of liberal groups and media such as Jon Stewart, the New York Times,
and MSNBC. Frankly, this tells me all I need to know.
Let my first words be those of gratitude to all of you for having elected me as your president. This is a great association and it is a great honor to be its president. I recognize clearly the weight of the responsibility that you have placed upon me and I pledge to give to you and to all the members the best that is in me.
A progressive association must look to the future, more than to the past; however, from time to time it is also important that we review our achievements as well as failures of the past. Immediate Past President Christian Leinbach emphasized “2014…A Year for Growth and Influence” during his leadership term. Our membership numbers are at the highest level this association has seen for several years, over 100 – a great achievement. A failure is that our membership has not been actively engaged to strengthen NCRCO ideals and objectives. I want to change that – and I expect you to make the difference!
I am pleased with the recent growth of NCRCO’s reputation and influence and that is what I will mainly focus on into 2015.
I am not speaking about influence that is built with political clout or money. Our influence is built by being helpful, by being willing to develop facts and figures to support our philosophies. It is built by dedicated individuals like you and me, each with a somewhat different experience, and different words to explain their views, but with a common set of ideals and goals.
You and I believe in the American system, and we are willing to devote our time and effort as a working part of that system, either as an elected public official, as a public employee, as a public servant, or as a volunteer. You and I believe that government is meant to work for people, not enslave them, and that our contributions to local, county, state and federal government can benefit all Americans.
You and I believe in growth, and change, and development, both in our personal life and in the life of an association like NCRCO, for none of us ever stops learning and growing. You and I believe that we can work as individuals, in groups, and through government to make our counties a better place when we leave it than it was when we first took office. Those are the kind of ideals that make NCRCO strong today, and that will help this association to continue to grow in strength and influence in the future.
While I serve as your president, you have also elected an outstanding team of officers and regional directors. NCRCO must either go forward or backward. At this point and time, it isn’t like us to go backward! Therefore, I hope that each of you will make the commitment to carry on the NCRCO ideals and objectives during the coming year to ensure greater influence of our association. “United we stand, divided we fall.” Thank you!
Cindy R. Bobbitt
National Conference of
Republican County Officials
Cindy R. Bobbitt
Grant County, OK
Jefferson County, CO
Terrebonne Parrish, LA
Cascade County, MT
Immediate Past President:
Christian Y. Lienbach
County of Berks, PA
Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina July 10–13, 2015.
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