As NC Speaker Tim Moore considers congressional run, he’ll visit Mexican border

North Carolina Republican House Speaker Tim Moore is going to the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend with his Texas counterpart.

The trip comes as the General Assembly is set to pass a new congressional map, including a district redrawn to favor Republicans that includes Moore’s home of Cleveland County. Moore said Tuesday he’s considering a run for Congress.

Moore also said Tuesday that he will visit Eagle Pass, Texas, on Saturday with Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan.

Preventing immigrants from crossing the border into the United States illegally has been a consistent Republican priority, for both the traditional and MAGA wings of the party.

“I had the opportunity to visit the border in Yuma, Arizona, earlier this year. And just seeing what an acute problem it is — it’s a problem that’s affecting North Carolina in a significant way,” Moore said. “I’ve talked to other speakers of the House from around the country who are facing increased fentanyl, drugs coming across, crime ...”

Moore considers run for Congress

Moore has said previously that he won’t run for another House term in 2024, but will finish out his current term, including as speaker, but hasn’t announced what’s in his future.

“I’m gonna evaluate all the options once we finish the session this week. Going to look at [running for Congress], and look at some other options as well,” Moore told reporters after a House session Tuesday.

Moore’s counterpart in the Senate, Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, said Tuesday he’ll run for another term in 2024 to his Senate seat representing Rockingham County. Berger and Moore have led the Republican-controlled legislature together for more than a decade.

Moore considered a run for Congress in 2022 but stopped short of announcing after then-incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn switched districts, then switched back, and then was ousted in the GOP primary by now U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards. Edwards’ Western North Carolina congressional district remains similar in the new maps, and a new one currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte was redrawn. Jackson may now be considering a run for attorney general.

“I don’t have a firm timeline. I’m not certain,” Moore said about when he’ll make a decision. “Right now the focus is on getting the business done at hand.”

He said a decision on his political future will likely be made in the coming weeks. Candidate filing for the 2024 elections is in December.

Moore’s trip to border

Moore said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone recommended he visit. In 2022, when Stone was running for reelection as sheriff, The Enterprise in Wilson reported that Stone defended sending his deputies to train at the U.S.-Mexico border. Stone said at a Nash County Republican Party event that his deputies were keeping drugs from reaching Nash County communities, The Enterprise reported.

“When I talk to sheriffs, when I talk to folks in law enforcement, I hear more and more about the drugs coming across the border,” Moore said.

Moore said he wants to go see for himself, and that it is a state issue, not just a federal one.

“Eagle Pass seems to be where a lot of different things are happening. And I think seeing it firsthand will be will be very important,” he said.

The House passed a bill in February that would require North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the Senate did not take it up.