McNeill’s District 78 seat included mostly Randolph County and a small part of northern Moore County, but new districts drawn this fall and approved by the General Assembly have reconfigured that district to take in a significant portion of Moore, including Pinehurst, Foxfire, Robbins and Seven Lakes.
Prior to winning a seat for the state House, McNeill served approximately 30 years in the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.
McNeill’s announcement comes as filing opens for the 2022 campaign season. Under the new districts, Moore County will be divided into three state House seats: Districts 51, 52 and 78.
“I will fulfill my current term of elected office for the next 13 months ending on Dec. 31, 2022,” McNeill said in a statement announcing his retirement.
“It has been the privilege and honor of my life to have served the citizens of Randolph and Moore County these past 9+ years. I and my office have tried to make constituent service our number one priority, having helped hundreds of people through the years with a variety of different issues.
“I have worked hard to bring resources and jobs to my district. Helping sponsor and pass legislation to save Randolph Health (hospital) was a particular blessing for me. I have sponsored numerous bills, many of which became law, and worked hard as chairman of the Justice and Public Safety Committee to make sure that the needs of our courts, prisons, probation, law enforcement, wildlife, National Guard, and emergency management was fully funded.”
McNeill currently serves as chair the Justice and Public Safety Appropriations Committee and the Pension Committee; vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and vice chairman of the Judiciary 2 Committee. He is also a member of the Election Law and Campaign Finance Committee, the Transportation Committee, the Strategic Transportation Planning and Long Term Financing Committee, and the Justice and Public Safety Oversight Committee.
“I will miss the joy of helping people and passing legislation to make our lives better. With my time at the Sheriff’s Office and the legislature I have been involved in public service for approximately 45 years.
“I am sure that God has other important work for me and look forward to starting another phase of life after Dec. 31, 2022. Until then I want to make sure that my constituents know that for the next thirteen months I still represent Randolph/Moore counties in North Carolina House District 78.”
McNeill’s retirement could open a heated contest for the District 78 seat, since it contains a large portion of Moore County. In the District 52 seat, currently held by Rep. Jamie Boles, he is expected to face fellow Republican Rep. Ben Moss of Rockingham in a GOP primary bid. Moss’ district was redrawn, and Richmond County is now in District. 52.
The District 51 seat is currently held by Rep. John Sauls, a Lee County Republican, and that district’s composition heavily favors a Lee County candidate.
Campaign filing begins at noon and ends at noon on Dec. 17.