District 59 State Rep. John Hardister is seriously considering running for North Carolina commissioner of labor in 2024.
Commissioner of Labor Josh Dobson announced this week that he would not be running for reelection. Dobson was elected in 2020 to replace Cherie Berry, who retired.
Berry served as commissioner of labor from 2000 to 2020 and became famous for putting her picture in every elevator in the state.
Hardister was first elected to the state House in 2012, and in November was elected to serve a sixth term. Since 2016 Hardister has served as House majority whip. When appointed, Hardister was the youngest legislator to ever serve as whip and he is now also the longest serving whip.
Hardister said he considered running for labor commissioner four years ago when Berry announced she wasn’t running for reelection but decided against it after Dobson announced he was running. Hardister said, “Josh is a good friend of mine and I knew he would be a great commissioner of labor.”
When asked about the odds of him running this time around, Hardister said, “I’m fairly confident I’m going to run.” Hardister said that he had been talking to friends, family and colleagues from across the state in the past couple of days and that the feedback had been good. He said that he planned to make an announcement in January if he decides to run.
Hardister said, “I still have the passion for public service and the motivation for it. At the end of this term, I will have been in the legislature for 12 years and that’s a long time. I feel like it’s time for me to step up and do something different.”
He said, “Looking back at the time I’ve been in the General Assembly, I feel gratified that I had the opportunity to help move North Carolina forward and make it a more prosperous state.”
Hardister said that he felt like his years in the House and 20 years in private business make him well prepared to be the commissioner of labor.
He added, “If I were to get elected, it will take me a long time to get used to seeing my picture in the elevator.”