It's official: Conservative Republican Steinburg seeks state senate seat

Rep. Bob Steinburg.jpg

Rep. Bob Steinburg


By Miles Layton

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

State Representative Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, said he will fight for the “people and our values” if he is elected to the state senate.  

A conservative Republican, Steinburg formally announced his plans earlier this week to run for State Senate District 1 that represents much of the northeastern share of the Tarheel state.

“From my earliest days as a Teenage Republican for Barry Goldwater to this last election for President Donald Trump, Governor Pat McCrory, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, I have worked my entire life for the conservative values that made America the 'shining city on a hill' that President Ronald Reagan so wisely recognized,” said Steinburg, who is serving his third term in the House. “America is great because its people are God-fearing, good people like we have in northeast North Carolina. Besides my family, the highest honor of my life is fighting for these people and our values in Raleigh, but make no mistake, we are under attack every day. The political establishment would happily sweep aside our beliefs – I cannot let that happen. That’s why I’ve never given a dime to liberals who oppose these values and why I’ve worked with conservative backbone day after day to transform state government. With all that’s at stake, we must continue the fight.”

Steinburg, co-chairman of the Agriculture committee, now represents Chowan and five other counties in the N.C. House of Representatives.  The new Senate district, as drawn in the initial map, would include 11 counties. After recent court-ordered redistricting drew incumbent Senator Bill Cook into District 3, Steinburg expressed an interest in pursuing a state senate bid for District 1. Cook, 72, said he will not seek a fourth term in the Senate.

Since Steinburg was first elected in 2012, he has established a conservative voting record and built a reputation for his courage to take on his party on behalf of his constituents. Steinburg opposed the compromise repeal of HB2, which protected women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms. When it comes to taking a principled stand on a controversial issue, Steinburg said he draws inspiration from the late U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, a conservative Republican who served five terms.

“I said to my colleagues 'before you go down on that floor and vote, I just want you to think about one thing. I'm going to make this short and sweet. What do you think Jesse Helms would do in this situation?' There was silence in the room because they knew damn well what Jesse Helms would do and what he would tell the NCAA – 'go rub rocks'! Then he would have gone after NCAA with a vengeance,” Steinburg said in an interview about HB2 and the NCAA boycotts in April with the Chowan Herald.

Steinburg is a leading voice for reforming the state’s corrections department. To promote job growth throughout the region, Steinburg led the effort to attract new manufacturing and processing jobs by partnering the state with the Virginia Port Authority’s Port of Norfolk and expanding the Foreign Trade Zone status to include Northeastern North Carolina.

Steinburg has a pocket-size copy of the U.S. Constitution that he carries with him everywhere. During a rousing speech in September, Steinburg addressed the danger the nation faces when folks do not understand or respect history – a reference to NFL players who bend a knee during the National Anthem.

“The danger is, in my view, if we don't understand the Constitution or we relegate it to the ash heap of history – it's just an old document and what do we have to know that for – that's where the real danger begins,” Steinburg said during his heartfelt speech on Constitution Day to a standing-room only crowd inside the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse. “We will forever remain a free nation as long as we understand our rights as given to us in this Constitution. Our rights will be taken away from us and we won't even know it if we are ignorant of what this document provides.”

Steinburg formerly served three terms as president of the 14-county Albemarle-Pamlico Republican Club and was nominated in 2011 to the North Carolina Republican Party’s Hall of Fame for his years of service for conservative causes. He has served three terms as chairman of the Chowan County Republican Party and was honored as a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention.

As an Episcopalian, Steinburg explored a call to ordained ministry after pursuing a career in business. He was elected for three terms as senior warden at his former Episcopal Church and currently is active at St. Paul’s Church in Edenton where he assists those in need of transportation.

A retired businessman and proud member of the NRA and Ducks Unlimited, Steinburg and Marie, his wife of 46 years, have two sons and two grandchildren.