|Speaker of the House||N.C. House 54||Incumbent|
|Party||In Office Since||Term Ends|
|Level of Government|
|Date of Birth||Birthplace||Now Lives In|
|September 23, 1945||Siler City, NC||Chapel Hill, NC|
For the speaker of the state House, Joe Hackney is a soft-spoken guy. A farmer and lawyer, he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980, sponsoring bills on the environment, enacting tougher penalties for drunk driving and domestic violence and stopping efforts to ban abortion. In recent years, he's moved into leadership, serving as speaker pro tem, House Democratic leader and majority leader. In the wake of scandals surrounding then-Speaker Jim Black, he crafted ethics, campaign finance and lobbying reforms in 2006, one reason he succeeded Black in January. As speaker, he allowed a more open environment in the House, avoided cutting off debate and set a more gracious tone than his predecessor.
His great-great grandfather served in the N.C. House of Commons.
Sons, Dan and Will
Joe Hackney is speaker of the North Carolina House of Represenatives.
Early Life and Education
John Joseph Hackney was born Sept. 23, 1945, in Siler City, to Herbert Harold and Ida Dorsett Hackney, rural dairy farmers.
He was the youngest of five children.
He grew up on a cattle farm in Chatham County which he still runs with his brother.
He graduated from Silk Hope High School in 1963.
He then attended law school at UNC, graduating in 1970.
He worked as a research assistant and law clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice J. Frank Huskins from 1970 to 1971.
He then worked as an assistant district attorney in Orange and Chatham counties from 1971 to 1974.
Since 1974, he's been a partner in Epting and Hackney, a Chapel Hill law firm focusing on civil litigation and domestic law.
He married Betsy Strandberg in 1979. The couple has two grown sons, Dan and Will.
In recent years, he's moved into leadership, serving as speaker pro tem, House Democratic leader and majority leader.
As speaker, he allowed a more open environment in the House, avoid cutting off debate.
He is running for re-election to his 15th term this November.
Research and reporting by Ryan Teague Beckwith and Eric Ferreri.
Epting and Hackney
N.C. State University
Name one way you would change government.
I would continue to work to create a public campaign financing system that would allow more people to seek public office and reduce the influence of large contributors. The General Assembly has made a lot of reforms in recent years and we have also expanded our public financing system from judicial races to some Council of State races. I'd like to see that trend continue.
What is the most pressing problem affecting the function of district court?