About Senator Ralph Hise

Ralph Hise is currently serving in his second term as Senator for North Carolina’s 47th District, representing the people of Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford and Yancey counties.

At 37 years old, Senator Hise is one of the youngest members of the North Carolina Senate, but he is already known as a strong conservative with a focus on lowering the tax burden for mountain families, improving our public schools, helping small businesses create new jobs and strengthening western North Carolina’s economy.

Senator Hise co-chairs the Senate Committees on Health Care, Appropriations on Health and Human Services, and Pensions & Retirement and Aging. He is also a member of the Senate Committees on Finance,Insurance, Redistricting, Rules, and Transportation.

The American Conservative Union presented Senator Hise with its ‘Defender of Liberty’ award based on his support of conservative legislation. He's also received a perfect score from The North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation for his voting record on business and job-related legislation.

A graduate of Appalachian State University (B.S. – Statistics) and North Carolina State University (M.Ed. – Higher Education Administration), Senator Hise is a statistician and a member of the faculty at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine. He is a native of Mitchell County and attended Mitchell High School and the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics.

Senator Hise lives in Spruce Pine with his wife Linn and twin sons, Thomas and Deren, and attends Abundant Life Outreach Church.

Previously, Senator Hise served two terms as mayor of Spruce Pine. He worked for the NC Victory Campaign under the North Carolina Republican Party in the 2004 and 2006 elections and has served as the chairman and vice-chairman of the Mitchell County Republican Party.

On the Issues

"I am proud to stand on my legislative record from the past two sessions of the General Assembly. Please take a look at some of the policies I supported that are helping get our state back on track." -Ralph

Jobs and the Economy

Senator Hise is focused on helping small businesses create jobs and revitalizing our economy in western North Carolina. He believes a balanced budget, lower taxes and less government red tape will help change our state’s business climate and bolster the resolve and creativity of our citizens and businesses to create lasting new jobs. In the General Assembly, Senator Hise has:

  • Closed a record $2.5 billion budget deficit left by former Governor Beverly Perdue and previous Democrat leaders.
  • Cut wasteful government spending and passed balanced state budgets every year – without raising taxes.
  • Supported tax reforms that will return more than $1 billion to North Carolina families and businesses.
  • Eased burdens on small businesses by making changes to our regulatory environment and simplifying outdated, confusing and unnecessary rules and regulations. Under Democrat control, more than 15,000 new regulations and changes were implemented over the past decade alone.
  • Lower Taxes

    Senator Hise helped pass the largest tax cut in North Carolina history in 2013 to provide much-needed tax relief to all western North Carolina families and make our region and state more attractive to job-creating businesses. Following decades of Democrat control, North Carolina had the highest taxes in the Southeast. Senator Hise supported a tax reform plan that simplified our state’s 1930s Depression-era tax code, cut personal and corporate income tax rates, eliminated the death tax and ended dozens of loopholes for special interests.

    Most importantly, these reforms will help create jobs – they’ve already moved North Carolina from the bottom of national rankings to the 17th best business tax climate in America!


    As the parent of young sons, the son of a public school teacher and an educator himself, Senator Hise believes there is no greater investment we can make than in our children’s future. That’s why he has increased funding for K-12 public schools every year he’s been in office. Last year, he helped raise K-12 education spending by almost 5 percent, devoting more than $7.8 billion to our public schools.

    And while we are moving in the right direction, the fact remains that 1 in 5 high school students in North Carolina do not graduate, putting us near the bottom in national graduation rankings. Senator Hise supports real changes and improvements to education – reforms that will help more students graduate and create a more educated workforce, which we all know is the cornerstone of a vibrant economy. That’s why he also took steps to provide greater accountability in public schools and make sure every child has a good teacher by:

    • Adopting an A-F grading system for every public school in North Carolina – one that incorporates elements that are important to parents, like early grade literacy scores, overall student academic gains, career readiness and college readiness. The new A-F grading system will provide parents with an assessment that is easy to understand and compare across the state.
    • Committing $10.2 million in funding for North Carolina’s first locally-controlled Merit Pay for Teachers program to ensure our students have top quality teachers and our teachers are rewarded for their hard work.
    • Reducing unnecessary testing to maximize classroom instructional time.
    • Eliminating the cap on the number of innovative public charter schools. The arbitrary, 100-school cap, imposed by Democrats, kept more than 20,000 families on a waiting list to enroll in a charter school. North Carolina students and families deserve more education options.

    Health Care

    Senator Hise feels strongly that the federal government should not force North Carolinians to buy any product, including health insurance. He’s supported bills to protect North Carolina citizens from President Obama’s overreaching federal health care law and to stop Obamacare’s costly Medicaid expansion.

    To help make health care coverage cheaper and more accessible for everyone, he helped pass medical malpractice and tort reforms along with major reform legislation to improve medical billing fairness and transparency, reduce health care costs and help consumers make better-informed decisions about their treatment.

    Voter Identification

    Senator Hise supported a hugely popular and common sense measure requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Surveys have consistently shown that nearly three-quarters of North Carolinians support requiring voters to show photo ID before voting. Now North Carolina is in line with the majority of other states that already require voter ID.

    Second Amendment Rights

    Senator Hise strongly supports protecting the Second Amendment rights of North Carolinians. He helped pass legislation to increase safeguards for property owners who use a weapon in self-defense and expand the number of places citizens with a concealed carry permit can carry firearms to protect themselves and their families.

    Pro-Family Values

    Senator Hise is a passionate defender of the right to life for unborn children. He was a sponsor of the Woman’s Right to Know Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and helped pass measures to prevent sex-selective abortions and require higher safety and sanitation standards for women's health clinics.


    For a listing of and information about bills sponsored by Senator Hise, please visit: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/reports/introducedBills.pl?nUserID=298&Chamber=S

    For a listing of and information about Senator Hise’s legislative votes, please visit: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/voteHistory/MemberVoteHistory.pl?sSession=2011&nMMUserID=298&sChamber=S