FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — Kentucky state Rep. Tim Moore, a Republican who represented an area south of Louisville since 2007, resigned from the House Tuesday in a letter citing his belief in term limits.
Gov. Matt Bevin set a special election for Moore's District 18 House seat on Nov. 5, the date of Kentucky's gubernatorial election.
In an interview with WDRB News, Moore said he was grateful to have an impact on veteran and anti-abortion causes and saw himself as a "voice for conservative common sense."
Before he resigned, he was chair of the House Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee.
Moore, an Air Force veteran, said he is moving into a "national level" ministry role, which he declined to identify. He said more details would be forthcoming.
"I must pour my energies in that other calling," he said, adding that he only made the decision to resign in the last few weeks.
Moore said he would't "hand pick a person" to replace him and emphasized several times that his decision to exit the legislature wasn't about politics.
"This isn't political for me," he said. "There isn't a political angle."
Moore's legislative district includes a chunk of Hardin County near Elizabethtown and Grayson County to the west. He was reelected last year, beating his Democratic opponent by a more than 2-to-1 margin.
"I have long believed in term limits as a worthy ideal of government service," Moore said in his resignation letter. "Now, having served over 12 years in the Kentucky Legislature, it is time to apply that principle to myself."
House Speaker David Osborne said Moore was an "integral member of the House Majority Caucus" and praised his tenure as a committee chairman.
"Under his leadership, we have moved Kentucky toward meeting the needs of our active duty and retired armed services and embracing military partnerships," Osborne said in a statement. "He is a man of deep faith. We understand that he has been led to a higher calling and wish him the absolute best in this next chapter."
Moore also reflected the legislature's increasingly anti-abortion views since Republicans took control of the House after the 2016 election to consolidate their power in the legislature.
Kentucky has been among several GOP-dominated states seeking to enact restrictions on abortions as conservatives take aim at the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Energized by new conservatives on the Supreme Court, abortion opponents in multiple states hope to ignite new legal battles that could prompt justices to revisit Roe v. Wade.
Moore's departure creates a second vacancy in the 100-member House. Republican Rep. Diane St. Onge announced her resignation this summer to move to California. The special election in her northern Kentucky district is also set for Nov. 5.
Associated Press reporter Bruce Schreiner contributed.