Kinnaird’s successor could be named Sept. 8
A successor to replace former state senator Ellie Kinnaird could be named Sept. 8.
Party officials have released a schedule for interviewing and naming someone to fill the Senate District 23 seat vacated by Kinnaird on Aug. 19.
Ted Benson, chairman of the N.C. Senatorial District 23 Democratic Party Executive Committee, said the committee will hold an official meeting Sept. 8 at 6 p.m., in the Holmes Room of the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro to possibly name the successor.
Benson said the committee will make nominations at that meeting,
“We may have a winner after one round or we may have a second round of voting,” Benson said.
The committee has also scheduled an information session for Wednesday at 7 p.m., in the old courthouse/post office on East Franklin Street to explain the nomination process and to hear brief statements from candidates who have declared interest in filling the seat.
Benson stressed that people interested in filling the seat must let the committee know before the Sept. 8 meeting begins.
So far, seven candidates have expressed interest in completing Kinnaird’s term, which ends in 2014.
The candidates are:
Alice Bordsen, a former state representative who spent 10 years representing Alamance County in House District 63.
Heidi Chapman, a Chapel Hill attorney.
Mark Chilton, mayor of Carrboro.
Valerie Foushee, member of the state House, representing House District 50.
Lynette Hartsell, a Cedar Grove attorney.
James Porto, a former Carrboro mayor.
Amy Tiemann, a Chapel Hill educator and author.
Kinnaird’s successor will be chosen by the four-member executive committee.
The committee is comprised of two members from Chatham County and two from Orange County.
The two Orange County members will control 446 votes and the two members from Chatham County 212 votes.
Each county is allotted one vote for every 300 citizens counted in the most recent census.
To be eligible for appointment, a candidate must be a resident of Senate District 23 and a registered Democrat.
Kinnaird, who was in her ninth term as a state senator, cited her frustration with the Republican-controlled General Assembly as the reason for her resignation.
She said she believes she could be more effective working outside of the legislature, and intends to focus on ensuring citizens have the proper identification to vote in the wake of the state’s new Voter ID law backed by the state’s Republican majority.