Senator Jeff Tarte Seeks 2nd Term

Senator Jeff Tarte filed for re-election Thursday afternoon at the Mecklenburg Board of Elections.

The former Cornelius mayor is seeking his second term in the majority Republican district, and at this point, there’s no sign of a challenger – either for the May primary or November general election.

The 41st District covers an area stretching from north Mecklenburg along the east edge of the county to Matthews and southeast Mecklenburg.

Tarte has a head of steam going into re-election season. When he announced his re-election bid in January, he listed nearly 100 local and statewide elected officials as supporters – from Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest to local officials in the 41st district.

Tarte was scheduled to host a campaign kickoff Thursday night at 7 at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius, with N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger as the speaker.

Filing for 2014 campaigns continues through Feb. 28. If a Republican opponent surfaces, Tarte would face a primary on May 6.

Tarte said Thursday his first term has been “amazing.” Among other things, he helped pass legislation requiring Mecklenburg County to fix its flawed 2011 property revaluation. He also said he has worked on a variety of “constituent service” issues, from tax matters to adoption cases. The short session of the General Assembly convenes on May 14.

“The big things we’ll continue to work on,” Tarte said Thursday, are the tax code and education. “That both involves funding, including teacher compensation at the K-12 level, and we’ve really got to get our arms around higher education.” For one thing, he’d like to see the state universities bring in more grant money.

Other key issues for him are regulatory reform, “to create a business friendly environment,” and local issues such as strengthening local governments’ ability to deal with vacation rentals (a problem he knows from his time as Cornelius mayor) and texting and driving.

“I absolutely love doing this,” Tarte said. He said he feels “a calling” to public service.

“I loved being mayor, it was awesome to be involved locally,” he said. “My wife asked, “Do you miss being mayor?’ Not for a minute. The only reason I don’t is that I’ve got the Senate.

If Tarte is re-elected, he said he’d like to server several more terms. “It gives you time to get things accomplished.”

Credit: David Boraks