HILLSBOROUGH- Democratic Party representatives from Orange and Durham counties met Thursday to appoint Graig Meyer to fill the N.C. House District 50 seat formerly occupied by Valerie Foushee.
Meyer is a Chapel Hill-Carrboro school administrator and coordinator of the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate program. He says he’s ready to usher in a new wave of Democratic leadership to help win back control of the General Assembly.
“We need Democratic leadership for the state of North Carolina that does more to promote our future than to think about where we are today or our past,” says Meyer. “We need Democratic leadership that thinks about where the state of North Carolina is going to be in twenty, thirty or fifty years.”
Meyer was one of seven candidates seeking the appointment. In the first round of voting, the four member executive committee split its votes between Meyer, attorney Drew Nelson, Orange County Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier, Chapel Hill Town Council member Laurin Easthom, and Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Danielle Adams. Candidates Travis Phelps and Tommy McNeill did not receive any votes.
After just a few moments of negotiation, the committee united behind Meyer, appointing him unanimously in the second round of voting.
Meyer’s appointment fills the House seat left vacant when Valerie Foushee was named last month to represent N.C. Senate District 23, taking the place of long-serving former State Senator Ellie Kinnaird.
The term of office expires in December of next year, but Meyer says he plans to run to keep the seat representing most of rural Orange and Northern Durham counties.
“To win the seat in District 50 requires you to get out and get to know people all across the district,” says Meyers. “This district is like microcosm of North Carolina: urban, rural, farmers, scientists- it’s a real mix. You have to make sure you can represent all those people and be aware of all the issues that impact the different communities in District 50. If you can do that, you can solve the problems faced all across North Carolina.”
Because the General Assembly is not in session until May 14, 2014, Meyer could find himself defending his new position in the May 6 primary before the legislature even convenes.
The Democratic Executive Committee will submit Meyer’s name to Governor Pat McCrory for appointment. The governor has a week to make the appointment official, but should he fail to do so, Meyer would automatically assume the office.