Edgar Starnes will run for House speaker if job's open

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 08:19 AM

It’s officially unofficial: Rep. Edgar Starnes, Caldwell County’s representative in the N.C. House of Representatives, may make a bid to become the leader of the entire House next year.

House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to oppose Democrat Kay Hagan. Republicans are anticipating the jockeying that could take place in the House leadership if Tillis wins.

Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, currently is House majority leader, the No. 3 spot in the Republican leadership team, behind the speaker and the speaker pro tem.

Starnes was in Lenoir on Thursday morning to speak to the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce’s “Business 4 Breakfast” gathering.

Starnes made no mention of Tillis or the speaker’s job – but after he spoke, President Ken Boham of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute rose from his seat in the back of the room and said that Starnes would be running for speaker of the House next year.

In an interview later, Starnes said it was too early to make an announcement.

“I’ll be a candidate, but it’s a little bit premature,” he said.

Starnes is serving his 10th term in the House. Republicans elected him majority leader about a year ago.

Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, currently is next in line behind Tillis in the House Republican leadership.