*Ray Starling serves as general counsel for the NC Chamber and president of the NC Chamber Legal Institute.
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you the newest member of the NC Chamber’s government affairs team, Kirk O’Steen, the Chamber’s new political manager. In this role, Kirk will lead our electioneering programs, provide political intel to our members, and help direct the NC Chamber PAC in its support of pro-business candidates across the state.
Like me, Kirk’s an N.C. State graduate – but that’s not what convinced me he should lead the Chamber’s political efforts (OK, not the only thing). Rather, it was his analytical skillset, enterprising spirit, and the valuable experience Kirk brings from his years working at the very heart of our state’s political arena, the North Carolina General Assembly, and from his successful stint as political director for the N.C. House Republican Caucus during the 2020 election.
Anyone who’s worked close to state politics here in North Carolina can tell you there’s just no substitute for knowing your way around the landscape like first-hand experience at the legislature. As political manager here at the Chamber, Kirk will have the chance to bring his knowledge of our electoral climate and the people and organizations who fill it to good use. One of his first roles will be coordinating the upcoming release of our annual How They Voted publication, which uses objective criteria to gauge how each legislator at the General Assembly performed on key votes impacting North Carolina’s overall business climate. You can look forward to the release of that publication in December.
Looking toward next year, Kirk will be focused hard on analyzing and processing the effects of redistricting and what this will mean for how the Chamber allocates political resources to continue shaping a business-friendly electoral landscape in the future. Of course, he will be sharing these data-driven insights with our members, so stay tuned for more political updates to come from the Chamber.
Kirk will also be making time in 2022 to meet with our members – individually and in group settings – to answer your questions and aggregate your thoughts about how the NC Chamber and NC Chamber PAC can more effectively shape a pro-jobs political climate across North Carolina. For now, I hope you will take the time to reach out and introduce yourself to Kirk personally. I know he’ll be glad to hear from you.
General Counsel, NC Chamber
President, NC Chamber Legal Institute