Durham County

Durham Democrats pick Black to continue Hall's term for District 29

Rachael Rileyl rriley@heraldsun.com

DURHAM -- The Durham Democratic Party voted Monday night to name MaryAnn Black to fill the term of the District 29 state legislative seat previously held by Rep. Larry Hall D-Durham, Commissioner Brenda Howerton confirmed.

Commissioner Ellen Reckhow supported the choice.

"It’s good to have a woman in our delegation -- which we have not had in awhile -- and as a former county commissioner,  because I think when we speak to her on county issues she will be knowledgeable about what we’re dealing with," Reckhow said.

Black is associate vice president of community affairs for Duke Health.

Her biography on Duke Health’s website states she was a county commissioner from 1990 to 2002 and commissioners’ chairwoman from 1996 to 2002.

“Ms. Black’s experience as a clinical social worker, combined with her strong leadership of the county commission, gives her valuable insight and expertise that will help strengthen the delivery of health care to underserved populations,” her biography states.

According to a 2002 Duke article that followed her appointment, she holds a master of social work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor of arts degree from Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.

In 1994, she was named "Social Worker of the Year" by the National Association of Social Workers.

Hall, a Marine Corps veteran and former Democratic minority leader for the North Carolina House, represented District 29 since 2006.

Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Hall as secretary for the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in January.

The News and Observer reported Feb. 8 that three judges ruled to put Cooper’s cabinet confirmation on hold.

Cooper requested the restraining order after senators scheduled a hearing last week to weigh the governor’s selection of Hall to head the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.