I button-holed a Republican legislator recently to try and get some of the inside skinny on the happenings on Jones Street. This House member told me that his caucus’s polling shows a strong likelihood of a continued GOP majority in the General Assembly. I asked him about the likelihood that Thom Tillis will be re-elected speaker. He told me:
“Tillis is done. He better enjoy the big office and the front row seat while he’s got it. It won’t be for much longer. When the election is done, and we’re still in control, I predict heads will start to roll.”
That rhymes. (What a combination — a politician and a poet.) I asked him about Skip Stam’s future in the lower chamber:
“He’s done, too. I predict that he and Thom will have a lot of time to chat and catch up while they’re sharing a back-row desk. The caucus is desperate for some radical change. Those two guys don’t appear able to deliver what the group wants.”
This particular legislator is hardly a rebel. He tends to follow the crowd in the House. The fact that he is talking like this — and doing it so freely — leads me to believe: (1) he’s believes he’s expressing an opinion held by a majority of House Republicans, and (2) we’re likely to be seeing significant changes in Republican leadership when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.