RALEIGH – Sen. Jerry Tillman, a Republican representing Randolph and Guilford counties, will step down from the N.C. Senate on June 30 after an 18-year career in the legislative body.
Sen. Tillman was elected to the Senate after a career in education, during which he served as a teacher, coach, principal, and assistant superintendent.
Tillman built a reputation as a staunch advocate for his community, including Randolph Hospital and the North Carolina Zoo.
Sen. Tillman was a strong proponent of K-12 schools and a leader on education issues, given his background in the Randolph county school system. During his time in the majority, the legislature overhauled teacher and principal pay scales, resulting in substantial raises. For example, the legislature provided teachers with the third-highest raise in the country over the past five years.
Over his nine terms in the Senate, Tillman emerged as a chamber leader. He served as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Education, and Majority Whip.
Often referred to as “coach” by his colleagues, Sen. Tillman’s love of baseball and music is well known. He has many favorites in his repertoire and would often recite songs to people who stopped by his office.
Sen. Tillman said, “It has been a pleasure serving the people that I have been so honored to represent over the years. My greatest joy in serving has always come from helping people with their everyday needs.”
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said, “Jerry has been a leader in the Senate and a fierce advocate for his constituents. Oftentimes, after a long day of work, I’d find Jerry sitting outside my office ready to go to battle over some provision that he wanted for his district. He’s left his mark on the Senate and our state, and I wish him the best in this next chapter.”