Easthom announces interest in House District 50 seat
Town Councilwoman Laurin Easthom has become the second person to announce interest in replacing Valerie Foushee in the N.C. House District 50 seat when Foushee moves to the state Senate.
Easthom joins Durham businessman Tommy McNeil, who announced last week that he wants to be appointed to the seat to represent Durham and Orange counties.
A member of the council since 2005, Easthom announced in January she would not seek reelection, citing a need for fresh voices and a good pool of potential council candidates in the November election.
“I know that whenever I left, I would like to represent a larger, different geographic area,” Easthom said. “The opportunity has presented itself.”
Easthom said her experience on town council for eight years and running two campaigns makes her a good candidate.
She said serving in the legislature would give her a chance to have an impact on education, health and women’s issues that are important to her, but are not necessarily relevant to her council duties.
“I’m excited there may be a chance to work on these kinds of things,” Easthom said.
Once Foushee moves into the District 23 senate seat vacated by Ellie Kinnaird, party officials in Chapel Hill and Durham will launch the process to fill the vacancy,
A House of Representatives District Executive Committee composed of two representatives from Orange County and two from Durham County will make the appointment.
Each county is allotted one vote for every 300 citizens counted in the last census.
Because Durham makes up a much smaller portion of the district, committee members representing Orange County will have a greater share of the votes.
To be eligible for appointment, a candidate must be a resident of House District 50 and a registered Democrat.
Kinnaird resigned 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.