Photo by Angie Newsome

ORANGE COUNTY – When Ellie Kinnaird announced her resignation from the State Senate on Monday, she said she didn’t want the process of appointing a replacement to turn into a campaign. But as of Friday afternoon, there are seven announced candidates for the still-open seat.

Among the most recently declared candidates are attorney Heidi Chapman and former Carrboro mayor Jim Porto.

Porto says he’s frustrated with the recent actions of the Republican-led General Assembly. And, he says if he’s appointed to the Senate he will only serve out the remainder of Kinnaird’s term.

Jim Porto served as mayor of Carrboro for two terms from 1983 to 1987; he was Ellie Kinnaird’s immediate predecessor in that role. He’s also served on the Carrboro Economic Development Corporation and the Carrboro Appearance Commission. Today Porto serves as director of executive programs in health policy and management at UNC’s Gillings Global School of Public Health. He has a master’s in public administration from NC State and a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from UNC.

Heidi Chapman is a Chapel Hill attorney with degrees from UNC and Harvard. Specializing in Workers’ Compensation Law, she currently runs her own law firm, Heidi Chapman, PLLC.

Porto and Chapman join five other declared candidates for Kinnaird’s seat: former State Representative Alice Bordsen, current State Representative Valerie Foushee, incumbent Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton, author and activist Amy Tiemann, and attorney Lynette Hartsell.