January 7, 2015



Tine switching to unaffiliated, will caucus with Republicans

By IRENE NOLAN


North Carolina Rep. Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk, one of the few Democrats to survive the Republican sweep in Dare and the other counties he represents in November's general election, announced today that he is switching his registration to unaffiliated and will caucus with Republicans in the General Assembly.

Tine represents District 6, which includes Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, and Washington counties. He won a second term on Nov. 4 with 54 percent of the vote when most Democrats took a beating.

He announced his switch late today in an e-mail to constituents and the media.

"Today, I am announcing that I am changing my party affiliation to Unaffiliated," he said.  "This has been a difficult decision as I have been a Democrat since I first registered to vote."

He says, however, that the decision is the right one for the district and the right one based on his political philosophy.

"My voting record and my message have always shown that I am a fiscal conservative who believes in a common sense approach to making our district and state a better place," Tine said, adding that he has been invited to caucus with Republicans.

 "My hope is that working inside the majority will allow me to get more accomplished in the next two years," he said.

Tine's announcement comes just a week before legislators return to Raleigh for the new session of the General Assembly.

His decision means that Republicans will now hold 45 of the 120 seats in the House.

Here is the entire text of Tine's e-mail:

Today I am announcing that I am changing my party affiliation to Unaffiliated.  This has been a difficult decision as I have been a Democrat since I first registered to vote.

The decision, however, is the right one for two major reasons.

First and foremost, this is the right decision for our District.  As an Independent, I have been offered to caucus with the majority party in Raleigh.  We have major issues concerning transportation, education and insurance in the east.  Our region’s economy continues to lag behind the rest of the state and I cannot allow party affiliation to stand in the way of getting work done.  I have made it very clear that my positions on issues like public education, early education, Medicaid expansion and rural issues will not change.  My hope is that working inside the majority will allow me to get more accomplished in the next two years.

Secondly, this is the right decision based on my political philosophy.  My voting record and my message have always shown that I am a fiscal conservative who believes in a common sense approach to making our district and state a better place.  These ideas have become increasingly less welcome in the Democratic Party over the past several years.  The majority party in Raleigh has said they will make room for a more moderate approach and I look forward to continuing to be this voice in Raleigh.  I have always been and continue to be a centrist that puts my district and my state first.




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