Rep. Chuck McGrady announced that he will seek re-election to another term in the North Carolina House of Representatives following meetings with Henderson County business and community leaders. McGrady has served in the state House for seven years and is a former Henderson County Commissioner and Flat Rock Council Member.
“After consulting with a wide-range of Henderson County’s business and community leaders following the recent legislative sessions, I’ve decided to seek re-election,” McGrady said. “There is still work to complete on some difficult water and sewer issues affecting Henderson County, and my background in local government and as an environmental leader make me uniquely qualified to help resolve these matters.”
“Similarly, Henderson County’s craft brewers, cideries, and wineries seek changes to outdated state regulation of alcoholic beverages, and as co-chair of the House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee, I’m well-positioned to help them continue to grow.” These industries have a statewide annual economic impact of over $3 billion and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.
McGrady is also co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which writes the state’s annual budget. In recent years, he’s played an important role in securing funding for a number of local-area projects, including a new medical school, improvements at the DuPont State Recreational Forest, and renovations to both the WNC Farmers Market and the WNC Agricultural Center. He’s worked closely with Henderson County’s economic development arm, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, to attract new companies to Henderson County by reforming burdensome state regulations on business.
McGrady is the senior Republican House Member from western North Carolina and is a key lieutenant to House Speaker Tim Moore, who has tapped McGrady for various leadership posts. Former House Speaker and current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis also named McGrady to key positions, including co-chair of the House Education Appropriations Committee and, following the coal ash spill in the Dan River in 2014, the House’s lead sponsor of North Carolina’s first-in-the-nation coal ash management law.
“Henderson County has been blessed by a series of strong legislators that have represented the county over the past three decades — including Republican Senator Tom Apodaca and Democratic Senator Clark Plexico, and Republican Representatives Larry and Carolyn Justus — all of whom served as committee chairs while serving in the legislature. I’m seeking reelection, in part, because Henderson County needs my experience and seniority in the legislature at this time.”
“While it has been a great honor to represent District 117 in the NC House, I hadn’t expected to run for re-election again,” McGrady noted. “However, several well-qualified leaders in Henderson County indicated that they were not yet ready to run for the House seat in 2018. By 2020, I expect that several strong candidates will step forward to run for the seat.”
Serving his fourth term in the North Carolina General Assembly, Representative Chuck McGrady is a graduate of Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia. After teaching law at Wayne State University Law School in Michigan and clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Representative McGrady spent several years in private practice before being recruited as legal counsel for Contel Corporation, the First Atlanta Corporation, and Alston & Bird, all in Atlanta.
Representative McGrady began working in North Carolina as executive director for the Environmental & Conservation Organization of Henderson County. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Henderson County Board of Social Services and was first elected to serve on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners in 2004, where he served until 2010, until he was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives. He has also served on the Henderson County Planning Board, Village Council of Flat Rock, The Henderson County Board of Social Services, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Asheville Airport Authority, and the Green River Community Association.
Representative McGrady has a long and distinguished history of community service and activism on behalf of the environment, youth, and the less fortunate. He has volunteered with Leadership Hendersonville, the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Friends of DuPont Forest (Representative McGrady was instrumental in making the DuPont State recreational Forest a reality), the Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board, The Rotary Club of Hendersonville, Four Seasons (which provides end-of-life care and palliative care), and lent his managerial talents to the Board of Directors of the American Camp Association, the Board of Trustees of the John Muir Foundation and the Sierra Club (where he served as its National President), the North Carolina Urban Forest Council, the Mountain Resources Commission, and the Georgia Environmental Advisory Council.
Representative McGrady has also served as chairman of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments. In 2012, Representative McGrady was presented with an award given by North Carolina’s 24 land trusts for his work protecting North Carolina’s land and water. In April 2015, Representative McGrady and his wife Jean were honored by the CMLC for their more than two decades of commitment to the area’s conservation efforts. No other member of the General Assembly has more impressive environmental bona fides.
Representative McGrady’s concern for our Western North Carolina’s young people is reflected in his service as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association (a trade association representing summer camps throughout North Carolina), Director Emeritus of Falling Creek Camp in Tuxedo (a summer camp for boys), Children & Family Resource Center, Henderson County Young Leaders Program, and Muddy Sneakers — an education program for kids that focuses on hands-on learning in natural settings.
In July 2014, Falling Creek Camp dedicated a new gym named in honor of the McGrady Family. Chuck and his wife Jean served as directors and owners of Falling Creek from 1989 to 2005.
In September of this year, Representative McGrady was honored by the North Carolina League of Municipalities with a “Community Champion Award” for his exemplary work supporting North Carolina’s over 500 cities and towns.
In August of 2015, Representative McGrady was honored by the by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) with their “Friend of the Counties Award.” Representative McGrady “has been a strong advocate for counties since he joined the legislature,” said NCACC President Ronnie Beale. “He helps keep other legislators informed about how legislation could impact counties. He has truly been a Friend of the Counties.”
In September of 2015, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) presented Representative McGrady with its annual “Legislator of the Year” Award for his strong defense of clean energy policies that have brought benefit to North Carolina’s businesses, citizens and economy.
This session, Representative McGrady was appointed by Speaker Tim Moore to serve on six committees: Alcoholic Beverage Control (Chairman); Appropriations (Chairman); Environment (Vice Chairman); Ethics (Vice Chairman); Judiciary II (Vice Chairman); and Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.
Last session, Representative McGrady was appointed by House Speaker Tim Moore to chair the full Appropriations Committee as well as to serve as Vice-Chairman of both the Judiciary and Environment Committees. He also served on the Agriculture Committee, the Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Commerce and Job Development Committee, the Education Committee on Universities, the Ethics Committee, and the Transportation Committee.
Representative McGrady served on 11 committees in the House during his second term in the legislature: Agriculture; Education Appropriations (Vice-Chairman); Environment (Vice-Chairman); Ethics; Government; Judiciary (Vice-Chairman); Transportation; the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee; the Environmental Review Commission; the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee; and the Joint Legislative Workforce Development System Reform Oversight Committee.
One of Representative Chuck McGrady’s proudest accomplishments was to secure insurance coverage for autism. and he was one of the key legislators who negotiated the Medicaid reform legislation. As in past sessions, Representative McGrady’s work often focused on issues affecting children or the environment. For example, he passed legislation facilitating the use of epinephrine auto-injectors, sometimes known as “epi-pens,” in child-serving businesses. He also served on several of the conference committees negotiating regulatory reform bills that mostly focused on environmental regulations. Among his other many significant accomplishments, Rep. McGrady was the primary architect of the historic coal ash bill passed into law in 2014.
This session, Representative McGrady was also the lead sponsor of the “Raise-the-Age” legislation, which reforms the way that juveniles who are convicted of certain low-level, non-violent misdemeanors are treated under the state’s criminal justice system.
He is also the lead sponsor of House Bill 500, the non-partisan redistricting legislation.
Representative McGrady’s focus has also been on issues that affect his district. In past sessions, he passed legislation to allow for hard cider “growlers” that was important to local apple growers, and also legislation clarifying the building code for summer camps. In previous sessions, he was instrumental in passing legislation to help Sierra Nevada locate in Henderson County and in helping Southern Appalachian open in Hendersonville.
He was the primary sponsor of a number of “beer bills” that became law in his second term which have helped to facilitate North Carolina’s craft beer renaissance. His efforts have directly contributed to the phenomenal growth of North Carolina’s craft brewers, wineries and cideries — which have an annual economic impact of over $3 billion and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.
“I’m still not sure how exactly I’ve become the beer specialist at the General Assembly,” said Representative McGrady.” But I now sense some appreciation by my 27-year old son, Steve, for the work I do.” Cheers to that.
That same month, he also received the inaugural Tourism Champion Award from the N.C. Travel and Tourism Coalition (read more about that here). And in February of 2017, Representative McGrady received the “Legislator of the Year Award” from the North Carolina Travel Industry Association.
Representative McGrady is very well-respected in Raleigh and he has an excellent reputation — not only across the state, but the entire southeast region — for his wide-ranging command of a diverse and complex set of issues. A former House colleague called him “one of the smartest and most capable legislators in the entire General Assembly.”
A hallmark of Representative McGrady’s service in Raleigh are his frequent legislative newsletters, which he takes the time to write himself — sometimes even multiple times a week. His characteristic candor and detailed explanations of the legislative process have earned him high praise from his constituents, his many Twitter and Facebook followers, and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. You can read an archive of his personal newsletters here.
To learn more about Representative McGrady’s work in the legislature, please visit his constituent services website at nchouse117.com.
Representative McGrady’s impressive record and his personal effectiveness in Raleigh representing the people of Henderson County led to him running unopposed in his 2016 bid for re-election. This follows a decisive third term re-election victory in 2014, where he garnered nearly 75% of the vote.
Chuck and his beloved wife Jean have two grown children.
Checks may also be made payable to the
McGrady Campaign Committee
P.O. Box 723, Hendersonville, NC 28793