Tine changes party affiliation

Published 12:58 pm Friday, January 9, 2015

State Rep. Paul Tine

State Rep. Paul Tine

Wednesday, Representative Paul Tine announced he would be changing his party affiliation to unaffiliated.

Tine represents Beaufort, Dare, Hyde and Washington counties in the North Carolina House and recently won a second House term in November 2014.
According to a press release from Tine, the decision to switch was based partially on the need to work outside party affiliation to meet the needs of eastern North Carolina constituents, but it wasn’t an easy one to make.

“This has been a difficult decision as I have been a Democrat since I first registered to vote, but after a lot of sleepless nights and long discussions with family and supporters, I am convinced it is the right one for our district and for me,” Tine wrote in a press release. “Our region’s economy continues to lag behind the rest of the state and I cannot allow party affiliation to stand in the way of moving our region forward.”

Tine said he would be caucusing with the Republicans, but has no plans to change his approach, nor his positions on public and early education, Medicaid expansion and rural issues

The reaction to the announcement by Republican party leadership was positive, while that of the Democratic party was a bit more circumspect.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Representative Tine. He has shown himself to be a fiscal conservative who takes a common sense approach to state government,” said Speaker Elect Tim Moore.  “I know we will have disagreements but feel that we will continue to find more in common than what separates us.”

“Our Caucus is dedicated to defending North Carolina’s public schools against more unneeded, ideologically driven cuts and working to create jobs. Representative Tine previously worked in our Caucus on many critical issues, like protecting Common Core and advocating for rural North Carolina, among other issues. While it is disappointing that he waited until after he was reelected as a Democrat to reveal his decision, we will continue working with everyone committed to moving North Carolina forward,” said Democratic Leader Larry D. Hall.

Tine said his position as a moderate had become a divisive issue with the Democratic party over the past several years, especially in Raleigh.
“I have always been and will continue to be a centrist that puts my district and my state first,” Tine said. “Right now, I feel that voice can best be heard as an Independent working with the majority.”