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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

US Rep. McIntyre to retire, Diaz joins ad firm

Two political figures in North Carolina announced today that they would be leaving their positions.

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Democrat who represents Southeastern North Carolina from Wilmington to the southern suburbs of Raleigh, announced that he would retire at the end of his term. He has served for 18 years.

“This partnership has transcended politics and allowed us to accomplish monumental tasks, such as quadrupling the number of veterans’ clinics in our area, passing the tobacco buyout, expanding our military bases, establishing an economic commission to promote jobs and fight poverty — and ensuring that the North Carolina coast will continue to be an economic engine and environmental treasure,” McIntyre said in a statement.

In 2012, McIntyre won by a slim margin of 654 votes.

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope said the problems with the Affordable Care Act rollout, despite McIntyre voting against the law, were hard to overcome.

“Today’s announcement is certainly not a good sign for Kay Hagan, who, unlike Rep. McIntyre, cast the deciding vote for Obamacare and lied to North Carolinians at least two dozen times to justify that vote,” Pope said in a statement.

On the other side of the political spectrum, former McCrory campaign staffer Ricky Diaz will leave his position as spokesman for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to join Republican advertising firm FP1 Strategies.

He will join the firm in early February. Diaz made headlines recently for receiving a salary of at least $85,000 a year — a decision heavily criticized that hit Gov. Pat McCrory’s approval numbers.

According to Public Policy Polling, 73 percent of voters and 71 percent of Republicans disapproved of the pay.

But while Diaz has been a source of controversy in government, he has been effective in working on the campaign trail.

Before working in the McCrory administration, first as deputy communications director for the governor’s office and then for N.C. DHHS, Diaz was McCrory’s campaign press secretary. He also served as a deputy communications director for the reelection campaign for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Diaz was also on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s first gubernatorial campaign and worked in his administration.

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