A staunchly conservative Republican state legislator with a reputation for being pro-life and pro-military has unexpectedly announced that he will be resigning his elected position.
It wasn’t a developing scandal or fear of losing a re-election bid that compelled the decision, however. Virginia state Rep. Tim Moore cited his personal belief in term limits for politicians and a calling to join the ministry as the reasons for his resignation.
Resigning on principle
Moore informed Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) of his decision to resign in a letter delivered on Tuesday, The Washington Times reported.
“I have long believed in term limits as a worthy ideal of government service,” Moore wrote in the letter. “Now, having served over 12 years in the Kentucky Legislature, it is time to apply that principle to myself.”
Moore was no run of the mill legislator. He held an influential position as chairman of the House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee in a state that is very favorable to the military and veterans.
He was also a popular politician in his conservative-leaning district, which he has represented since 2007. Moore won his most recent re-election in 2018 by a more than 2 to 1 margin.
Self-imposed term limits and heeding a call
Ironically, enough, it was the championing of the idea of term limits by the Democratic challenger for governor that may have, in part, led to Moore’s decision to step down. Failed nominee Andy Beshear had proposed limits of four consecutive terms for state representatives and two consecutive terms for state senators — eight years total for both — as part of a broader proposal of ethics reforms in the state.
In his letter to Gov. Bevin, Moore said that he intended to transition into a Christian ministry role, though exactly what he will end up doing remains unclear.
He will be missed as an “integral member” of the Republican majority in Kentucky’s Legislature, according to a statement on the resignation from Republican House Speaker David Osborne.
“Under his leadership, we have moved Kentucky toward meeting the needs of our active duty and retired armed services and embracing military partnerships,” Osborne said. “He is a man of deep faith. We understand that he has been led to a higher calling and wish him the absolute best in this next chapter.”
Special election to coincide with regular election
Gov. Bevin declared that a special election will be held on Nov. 5 to fill Moore’s vacant seat. In order to avoid incurring “unnecessary additional polling cost,” that special election will be conducted on the same day as the regular state election for governor and other statewide offices.
Though some Kentuckians will certainly be disappointed by Moore’s exit from the legislature, few of his supporters would argue against the lawmaker abiding by his own principles and heeding a call from a higher power.