You are here
Youngster runs for Speaker of the House, and he’s not above knocking your door down
By John Sanford Friedrich
23 is young to be elected into a state legislature. Six years later the now 29-year-old Justin Burr (R-67 Stanly) has thrown his hat in the ring to replace Tillis as Speaker of the General Assembly. This is not a truly serious campaign by the Republican Vice-Whip but rather “a move perceived by insiders as a way to help [the candidacy of Tim] Moore” (R-111 Cleveland).
Burr won the 2003 award for “Oustanding Teen Age Republican in the Nation” so his activism is presumably sincere and certainly of impressive duration. The youngster is a third generation bailsbondsman, of the alliterative Burr Bail Bonds. These are the folks who break down doors searching for people who have not showed up for court and these folks believe they have a right to violence either out of law or ancient custom.
Burr did not neglect this bread and butter of his family’s income – he introduced H137 which increased the amount of bounty that bounty hunters can seek to gain by capturing a fugitive. The previous cap the governor could allow was $10,000. McCrory signed the bill into law and now enjoys the ability to set a bounty at up to $100,000, a ten-fold increase and certainly a boon enough to keep an office of bondsmen in the black.
H204 was less successful but a tad more interesting. It sought to clarify the process of certifying midwives as recognized by the state medical system. Chiefly it aimed to strip the right of midwives to offer “interconceptual care,” namely family planning and breast cancer screening services. Fortunately this bill failed.
Burr himself is in little danger of failing too far in his own political career. He ran unopposed in 2008 for the 67th under the old election district lines and won in 2012 against Democrat Kevin Furr by a 3:1 margin. He recently defeated Nalin Mehta, who was noted in the Indian-American press.
With such a safe seat it is interesting that the NCGOP itself donated nearly 12,000 dollars. As seen by his efforts with H187 it is less surprising that the NC Bail Agents Association chipped in a solid eight grand towards his uncompetitive seat.
Burr may stand little chance of assuming the Speakership but his role on the Appropriations Committee and other powerful positions coupled with his youth means he is worth the attention of North Carolina political observers.