State Rep. Debra Conrad to resign this week from legislature

State Rep. Debra Conrad

WINSTON-SALEM — Four-term North Carolina state Rep. Debra Conrad will resign her seat this week, with the possibility of returning to Raleigh soon as a lobbyist.

Conrad, a Forsyth County Republican, wrote Speaker Tim Moore on Tuesday about her decision to step down on Friday. Conrad announced last year she wouldn’t seek reelection in 2020.

Conrad, a marketing firm owner, didn’t give a reason for her resignation in the letter. She told the Winston-Salem Journal she’s not ready to leave the state capital for good.

“Lobbying is one of the exciting opportunities I am considering, as I have too much energy and passion for politics to retire,” said Conrad, 68. “I look forward to being back in Raleigh in a new role next year.”

Leaving her 74th House District seat now means Conrad’s mandated six-month wait before she could lobby the General Assembly would end early next year.

Forsyth County Republican activists would pick someone to fill the remainder of Conrad’s term through the end of the year.

Conrad said that person can’t be Jeff Zenger, who won the March GOP primary for the 74th District seat, because he lives outside the current district’s boundaries. Zenger is running against Democrat Dan Besse within district lines reconfigured last year.