Politics & Government

Mecklenburg Republicans tap ex-state Rep. Rob Bryan for Dan Bishop’s Senate seat

Former NC Rep. Rob Bryan
Former NC Rep. Rob Bryan

Mecklenburg County Republicans Thursday night tapped former state Rep. Rob Bryan to replace Dan Bishop in the North Carolina Senate.

Members of the party’s executive committee in District 39 chose Bryan over party activist Amy Bynum. Bishop was elected to Congress this month from the 9th District.

Bryan’s selection will be sent to Gov. Roy Cooper, who is expected to make the formal appointment.

“I’m excited to serve the people living in the 39th,” Bryan told the Observer. “I look forward to being back in the legislature and working on issues important to the district.”

Bryan, a former two-term House member, serves on the UNC Board of Governors and once chaired the Mecklenburg Republican Party. He’s an attorney who left a job as chief development officer for Cardinal Innovations health care in May and now runs his own consulting company.

GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Forest Thursday endorsed Bryan for the seat.

In a statement, state GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said, “Bryan has a proven conservative record as a state House member and will undoubtedly bring the same effective leadership to the Senate on behalf of his constituents.”

Bryan will serve out Bishop’s term through 2020 in southeast Mecklenburg District 39.

But lawmakers just drew new districts that would put him in Senate District 37, which is currently held by Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson.

If a panel of judges approves the districts, Bryan would have to file in the new district in December and could face Jackson, who’s expected to run for re-election.

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Jim Morrill, who grew up near Chicago, covers state and local politics. He’s worked at the Observer since 1981 and taught courses on North Carolina politics at UNC Charlotte and Davidson College. To subscribe to The Observer, go to: www.charlotteobserver.com/jim.