by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond


NC Sen. Pete Brunstetter, a Republican lawmaker from Forsyth County who co-chaired the powerful Appropriations/ Base Budget Committee, is retiring from the General Assembly effective Dec. 15.

“Pete Brunstetter is an outstanding public servant whose leadership and budgetary expertise were instrumental in closing the $2.5 billion deficit Republicans inherited and ensuring North Carolina’s long-term fiscal health,” said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, whose office announced Brunstetter’s retirement. “As a champion of small business, Pete had a tremendous impact on reforming our state’s onerous regulatory environment and medical malpractice laws.”

An announcement quickly followed that Brunstetter has been hired as executive vice president and chief legal counsel for Novant Health, the Winston- Salem hospital group.

“Pete comes to Novant Health at a time when the healthcare industry is facing unprecedented change and challenge,” said President and CEO Carl S. Amato in a prepared statement. “His knowledge of our organization and the regulatory environment will be a great asset to Novant Health.”

On Sunday, Brunstetter endorsed Mark Harris, a Charlotte pastor who is a Republican candidate for US Senate.

“I can’t think of a better man and more effective communicator of conservative values than Mark Harris,” Brunstetter said. “I’ve known Mark for years, and I’ve always found him to be a man of integrity. He’s exactly the kind of individual we need to fix the disaster that is Washington politics.”

Brunstetter went on to say that he will encourage colleagues in the General Assembly to join the campaign. Harris’ announcement characterized Brunstetter as “a key member of the Republican Senate Caucus’ political operation, which helped engineer a Republican majority in 2010 for the first time in more than a century.” NC House Speaker Thom Tillis is also seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democrat Kay Hagan. !