Jim Perry resigns from state Senate

He had previously announced he would not seek reelection

State Sen. Jim Perry

RALEIGH — State Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) resigned Tuesday after he previously announced he would not seek reelection.

“It is a special privilege to serve in the North Carolina Senate,” Perry, the Senate majority whip, said in a press release announcing his resignation. “I am incredibly thankful to have been chosen for this wonderful honor and life experience.”


In a letter to the Senate Clerk dated July 1, Perry said he was resigning effective July 2. He had foreshadowed his departure in floor remarks on June 27.

Perry was in his second full term in the Senate, having been appointed in 2019 to replace retiring Sen. Louis Pate. State Republicans selected him to serve as majority whip in 2021.

Before his time in the Senate, Perry was a business executive in the dental industry. His business and health care background meshed well with his committee assignments in the Senate, which included chairing the Senate Finance Committee. He also served on the Commerce and Insurance, Health Care, Redistricting, and Rules committees.

“I am thankful to my family for enduring the demands of serving in the North Carolina General Assembly over the course of my three terms,” said Perry. He had cited family as a driving factor in his decision to not seek reelection.

“I am entering a season of life where I will need more time to support those closest to me,” he said.

Perry said in December 2023 that he intended to return to the private sector after his term ended. He had been injured in a hunting accident last fall but said in a December statement that his “personal health is fine” and the incident was “not the basis for my decision.”

“Jim has been a valuable member of our caucus since his first day in the Senate,” Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger said at the time of Perry’s announcement in December. “His tireless work ethic and willingness to dig into the details have made a lasting impact on health care and finance policy in the state.”

Perry served as Majority Whip in the Senate and chairman of multiple Senate committees including Healthcare, Appropriations on Health and Human Services, and the Select Committee on Storm Related River Debris Damage.

The North Carolina Republican Party will determine who will replace Perry and it will likely be Bob Brinson. In the March 2024 primary, Brinson defeated former lawmaker Michael Speciale for the District 3 seat which, following redistricting, added Beaufort and Craven Counties in addition to Lenoir.

The Lenoir Republican graduated from South Lenoir High School and was the first in his family to go to college. He attended Lenoir Community College and transferred to North Carolina State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He also holds an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Perry and his wife, Rebecca, live in Lenoir County with their three daughters; Taylor, Reagan and Jordan.

A.P. Dillon contributed to this report.