Nelson to seek appointment to House seat

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 06:39 PM

Drew Nelson, a Raleigh attorney who lives in Chapel Hill, announced Thursday that he will seek appointment to the House District 50 seat Valerie Foushee will vacate next week.

Foushee has been appointed to finish the unexpired term of Ellie Kinnaird, who resigned her state Senate District 23 seat last month.

Nelson, 34, becomes the fourth person to announce plans to seek appointment to the House District 50 seat.

He joins Durham businessman Tommy McNeil, Chapel Hill Councilwoman Laurin Easthom and Graig Meyer, a veteran educator and social worker.

If appointed, Nelson said, he will focus on fracking, voting rights and education.

“As the son of a North Carolina public school teacher and an elementary school principal, and as the parent of a child soon to be enrolled in public school, education is a critical issue driving my candidacy,” Nelson said.

He also said he worries about the potential environmental damage that might be caused if the GOP green lights fracking in the state.

“I would like to get in there and push back against that,” Nelson said. 

Additionally, Nelson said he is particularly “fired up” about the Republican effort to restrict voting in North Carolina.

“It’s unbelievable to me that we’re making it more difficult to vote,” Nelson said. “It’s a thinly-veiled attempt to game the system in their favor.”

Nelson, who grew up in Wilmington, is a graduate of the UNC School of Law and earned a master’s degree from the Terry Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

He is married to Jennifer Nelson, a pediatric heart surgeon at UNC Hospitals. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Laine.

Kinnaird resigned her state Senate seat last month, citing frustration with the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

She announced plans for a campaign to ensure citizens have the proper identification to vote to counter the state’s new voter ID law backed and approved by the legislature’s Republican majority.