Under the Dome

House GOP leader Skip Stam in line to become speaker pro tem

UPDATED: House Majority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam is poised to become Speaker Pro Tem.

Stam, an Apex Republican, said after six years as the chamber's GOP leader it's time to shift positions. "I believe in term limits at the leadership level and I want to set a good example," he said in an interview Wednesday.

The move would set him up for a potential run for House Speaker in 2014 when House Speaker Thom Tillis plans to step down as part of self-imposed term limits. Stam declined to discuss whether he would run again. (He lost to Tillis in 2010.) "I may run in two years but I'm not spending one second on that for the next long period of time," he said. 

The position came open when state Rep. Dale Folwell left the N.C. House to make an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor. As pro tem, Stam would make $21,739 a year with another $10,000 in expenses allowances. 

His ascension won't become official until the House Republican caucus meets to pick its leaders for the next two-year session. The caucus will meet Nov. 17 in Raleigh. If it doesn't pick leaders then, it will do so in December. He may also face opposition.

As majority leader, he coordinated the daily calendar and flow of legislation. Stam said he doesn't see the move to the pro tem job "as a promotion or a demotion." 

But as a position that serves the entire chamber, and not just the Republicans, Stam said he would look forward working 15 to 20 bills a session, as opposed to 15 to 20 bills a day. In the new post, Stam would assist the speaker and lead his own agenda.

It's unclear who may move into the majority leader position -- which may be divided into two posts. But Majority Whip Ruth Samuelson is expected to make a play, other Republican lawmakers said.

*Updated to correct salary figures.

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