Tim Moore said he surrendered his state representative’s seat Tuesday to answer a higher calling.

A conservative Republican, who was central to establishing the legislature’s pro-life caucus, Moore resigned with more than 15 months to go in his seventh two-year term. The timing allows a special election to fill the vacancy to coincide with the Nov. 5 general election. Moore said he “was not going to leave the counties stuck with the expense of another election.”

Moore, 53, called it “a prayerful decision” based upon increased commitments in a Christian ministry role on top of family commitments and his continued employment as a pilot with UPS.

He is involved with Lamb & Lion Ministries, which was established to proclaim the imminent earthly return of Christ. “My responsibilities in that arena are about to expand significantly,” he said in a formal statement announcing his resignation. In an interview, he expressed his beliefs about living in the last days and described “the urgency of the task at hand.”

Moore, who is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, won the 26th District House seat in 2006, which then covered most of northern Hardin County, and switched to the 18th District in 2014 after the boundaries were redrawn following the latest census. The new boundaries, which sliced Radcliff into three pieces, were considered by some as means to target Moore for defeat by introducing sizable new territory. The 18th District covers all of Grayson County and takes a nine-precinct sliver of Hardin County extending to Moore’s home precinct.

During the 2014 GOP primary election, Moore received 85.7 percent of votes cast in Har­din County and that 997-vote margin overcome Stephen Meredith of Leitchfield, a long-time hospital administrator there, Meredith came back two years later and won the 5th District Senate race and says he and Moore “became good friends over the years.”

“He’s done a very good job for our district,” Meredith said Tuesday. “He’ll be sorely missed.”

Moore’s resignation was the talk of the legislative hallways Tuesday, according to Meredith and Democrat Dennis Parrett, a fellow state senator, who were in Frankfort for interim committee meetings.

“One thing about Tim,” Parrett said, “He was a defender of his faith, even up there. He’s a solid guy.”

Moore led the General Assembly’s bicameral pro-life caucus and had served as chairman of the House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee. His other committee assignments included transportation, elections and constitutional amendments and the interim committee on state government.

In his resignation announcement, Moore cited long-expressed concerns about a seniority system which embraces career politicians.

“I have long believed in term limits as a worthy ideal of government service,” Moore said in his statement. “Now, having served over 12 years in the Kentucky Legislature, much prayer has led me to realize it is time to apply that principle to myself.”

The governor signed a writ today declaring the seat vacant and the secretary of state formally notified local election officials Tuesday afternoon. The Hardin County clerk’s staff had to delay the scheduled printing of its ballots to accommodate the change.

In his resignation note, Moore listed fighting for life and liberty as primary goals of his legislative tenure and he expressed satisfaction in his achievements. He later said he expects the announcement to be received in a variety of ways.

“I know there are people who will be shocked and saddened and there will be others who are celebrating and rejoicing. Most will not care,” he said. “That’s OK because it’s not about me.”

Ben Sheroan can be reached at 270-505-1764 or bsheroan@thenewsenterprise.com.

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