Nov 2, 2023 - News

Embattled NC House Speaker Tim Moore to run for Congress

Tim Moore outside the U.S. Supreme Court last December

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina's embattled House Speaker Tim Moore is running for Congress in the state's 14th District.

Driving the news: Moore, the state's longest serving House Speaker, had been soliciting donations for his congressional campaign Thursday, according to text messages obtained by Axios.

  • Moore's adviser, Paul Shumaker, confirmed the speaker's plans.
  • "I can confirm that he has started making calls to members of the delegation as well as key supporters letting them know he plans to make a formal announcement next week," Shumaker said in a statement to Axios.

State of play: The move comes just one week after North Carolina's Republican-led legislature passed new political maps into law, locking in a safe Republican congressional seat for Moore to run in next year.

The big picture: The decision to run also comes on the heels of a tumultuous year for the speaker, in which he faced a lawsuit alleging he had a sexual relationship with a state government employee, scrutiny over his use of campaign funds to pay his own law firm for rent, and most recently questions about his placing a recently sanctioned lawyer and friend on the state bar's disciplinary committee.

  • "It's not a good look any way you slice it," one Republican wrote of the lawsuit against Moore earlier this year, "and this type of cavalier behavior inevitably catches up with you."

Context: Moore has long been expected to enter the race for Congress, and told reporters last week that he was considering jumping in the race, along with other options.

  • A look at his travel schedule this year also seems to indicate he has had his eye on higher office. He's traveled to Ukraine in the spring and just returned from a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • And since the passage of the state budget in September, Moore has traveled around the state touting major investments in a variety of projects.

What we're watching: Moore is expected to face former congressional candidate Pat Harrigan in the Republican primary for the Western North Carolina district, which also includes part of Mecklenburg County.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Paul Shumaker.


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