CHAPEL HILL – State Representative Valerie Foushee’s (Dem.) said Wednesday, following her announcement that she is seeking appointment to N.C. Senate District 23, that her years of experience serving Orange County makes her the right person for the job.
To hear the full interview with Foushee, you can listen below:
“My service, eight years as a commissioner for the whole of Orange County, is something that I certainly enjoyed. While I have enjoyed serving District 50, I think Senate District 23 is a good fit for me,” Foushee said.
Foushee also served as member and Chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board, in addition to serving as Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. She also was a member of the Chapel Hill Police Department for 21 years.
She said Orange County is a unique area with an active and informed constituency.
“We care for people. We believe in providing the necessary services, so that’s where I want to remain and that is what I want to continue to do,” Foushee said.
Senate District 23 covers Orange and Chatham Counties. It was formerly held by Senator Ellie Kinnaird (Dem.), who resigned the post Monday due what she said was frustration over actions taken by the Republican-controlled legislature. Foushee said she spoke with Kinnaird Wednesday morning, offering praise for the nine-term senator: “Ellie has been a great mentor to me.”
Kinnaird said she will now focus her efforts on combating the Voter I.D. Law, an idea which Foushee championed.
“We really need to make sure that every eligible voter in North Carolina is able to vote,” Foushee said. “We need to make sure that there is access to the ballot box. We need to make sure that North Carolina remains a beacon.”
Many teachers in North Carolina criticized this past legislative session for steep budgets cuts to education, ending teacher tenure and not providing a pay raise to educators.
“We’re not going to have great schools if we don’t value our teachers who provide great education to our children. Those things we have to give back to them and we have to give back to them quickly because we are very quickly tearing them down.”
Foushee said whether her career continues as a representative or as a senator, she will continue to push for progressive legislation.
“The Democrats are going to continue to work hard to change these things and to get them turned around. We are not going to say die. We are not going to lie down,” she said.
The 23rd Senatorial District Executive Committee is the group charged with nominating someone to serve the remainder of Kinnaird’s term, which is up in 2014. After the committee nominates a replacement, it is state law that N.C. Governor Pat McCrory must formally appoint the Committee’s choice. The committee, which only meets in rare circumstances, is made up of four Democratic officials, two from Orange and two from Chatham County.
A date has not been set for the committee meeting, but state leaders expect it will happen in the next 30 days.