Back when HB 2 passed, we called eleven House Democrats to ask why they voted for the bill
. One of them was Rep. Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland), who represents a Fayetteville-area swing district that Barack Obama won narrowly in 2012
. Richardson didn't return any of our calls.
In the weeks since, however, it seems that Richardson, a state representative from 1992-1996 who returned to the state legislature last year to replace Rep. Rick Glazier
, has had a change of heart. Writing in the Fayetteville Observer
, Richardson says, "By enacting House Bill 2, the legislature did the wrong thing. I made the wrong vote and now we must make it right."
"Since our hasty vote on HB2," he continues, "I have been haunted by the fact that in one rushed action, I undermined a lifetime of fighting against those who would demonize a group of citizens to gain political advantage and to advance an unjust agenda."
"Let's do what we North Carolinians do when we are at our best and choose restraint over raw emotion," Richardson says. "Let's choose local government and let it be truly accountable to its citizens. Let's choose rational, deliberative action and enact a law that accomplishes only what we intended to do. Let's not end North Carolina's history of moderation. Let's admit we were wrong and actually fix our real problems."