ORANGE COUNTY – The Orange County Board of Commissioners honored former N.C. Sen. Ellie Kinnaird Tuesday evening.

Kinnaird received a standing ovation and then spoke to the crowd, getting a little choked up as she reflected on her career.

“I have really appreciated representing the people of all of Orange County and all of the municipalities, and working with all of us to try to solve what we can for the people we serve. Thank you very much.”

Barry Jacobs, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, passed a proclamation thanking the nine-term senator for her years of public service.

“Senator Kinnaird has been a been a persistent advocate for the underprivileged, a dedicated protector of the environment, a champion of social justice, a resolute opponent of the death penalty, and a supporter of fulfilling employment and quality education,” Jacobs said.

Kinnaird also served as Mayor of Carrboro from 1987 until 1996.

“Orange County is unique, and so when you speak for Orange County, you speak in a very different voice,” Kinnaird said. “Our values are the ones that we know are so much a part of the leadership of the state.”

In total, Kinnaird served 26 years as an elected public servant.

“I never expected to be in government at all except as an advocate for things,” Kinnaird said. “What a privilege to work with all of these wonderful local governments.”

Kinnaird resigned her seat as Senator for District 23, which covers Orange and Chatham Counties, in August. She said she was frustrated over the policies passed by the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly and believed her time would be better spent countering the Voter I.D. Law.

Sen. Valerie Foushee was nominated in September to fill Kinnaird’s vacant seat.