Rep. Chris Millis to resign September 15

The conservative House member said he is leaving to spend more time with family, but after a slew of recent Republican departures on the heels of redistricting legislation, many wondering if intra-party politics are to blame.

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
Representative Chris Millis calls for the resignation of North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall during a press conference at the Legislative Building in Raleigh

RALEIGH — Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender) announced last week that he will be resigning from office September 15 to spend more time with his family. First elected in 2012, Millis served as chairman of the House Committee on Regulatory Reform and has been a leading voice on energy, education and economic development issues.

Millis is a conservative stalwart in the N.C. General Assembly, leading efforts to reform state regulations, protect free speech on college campuses, and strengthen gun rights. One of his most recent stands was pushing for the investigation of N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) for possible impeachment based on certifying illegal aliens with DACA designations as notaries public. His efforts resulted in an investigative committee being approved, with possible legislative action coming in before or during the 2018 short session.

“I’ve really enjoyed service and it’s just the proper time to refocus prospects back on the family,” said Millis in an interview. “Everything is great on the home front and I just want to keep it that way. It’s going on five years and with all the demands of the legislature and professional life it was the right time to refocus back on the home front.”

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a statement saying the N.C. House will lose one of its finest members.

“The state House of Representatives will lose one of our brightest and hardest-working members without Chris Millis,” said Moore. “I can’t say enough about Chris’ dedication to North Carolina taxpayers, his commitment to effective reform and the countless initiatives he undertook to benefit his constituents and citizens statewide.”

It marks yet another Republican lawmaker to announce their departure from the General Assembly after redistricting legislation was approved that seemed to reduce re-election prospects for many conservative members.

Sen. Bill Cook (R-Beaufort) and Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake) both announced in recent weeks that they would not be running for re-election after mapmakers drew them out of their district or new district makeups provided for an untenable re-election campaign in 2018. Millis’ desk mate, Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Nash), also announced he would not seek re-election to the N.C. House.

“Redistricting had absolutely nothing to do with my decision. ” asserted Millis. “The decision was solely based on spending more time back at home with my wife and kids and not having to juggle and having multiple plates spinning at the same time.”

When asked if his days of public service were over for good, Millis, who is one of the youngest members of the legislature, left the door wide open.

“This is just a bookmark in regard to public office, but I’m still going to be in the fight, in the fray,” said Millis. “I’m not ruling out stepping back in if necessary.”