Durham County

State Sen. McKissick seeks District Court seat vacated by Marcia Morey

Sen. Floys McKissick (Dem.) poses a question to Larry Hall at a Senate confirmation committee hearing at the N.C. Legislative Building on March 2, 2017. McKissick is seeking the District Court seat vacated by Marcia Morey.
Sen. Floys McKissick (Dem.) poses a question to Larry Hall at a Senate confirmation committee hearing at the N.C. Legislative Building on March 2, 2017. McKissick is seeking the District Court seat vacated by Marcia Morey. News and Observer File Photo

State Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., D-Durham, is seeking the nod of the Durham County Bar Association to fill the unexpired District Court seat vacated by Judge Marcia Morey after Durham County Democrats voted to appoint Morey to the N.C. House District 30 seat on March 30.

Morey replaced late Rep. Paul Luebke, 70, a Democrat who represented Durham for 25 years in the state House before his death in October.

The process to replace Morey started with the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar calling for a vote for a new district court judge.

Possible candidates submitted their names, credentials and qualifications during a five-day period that ran April 10-14.

“It is my intention, if I am unsuccessful in being appointed to this vacancy, to continue proudly and effectively serving in the Senate where I have gained a reputation for being one of its hardest working members,” McKissick said. “However, I know that as a District Court Judge I could continue to effectively serve my community.”

McKissick is one of nine candidates who submitted their names to replace Morey, said Guy Crabtree, president of the Durham County Bar Association and the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar. The other known candidates are Brian Michael Aus, Catherine Constantinou, Christy Hamilton Malott, Amanda Maris, William "Drew" Marsh, Daniel Meier, Kendra Montgomery-Blinn and David T. Robinson.

McKissick said he was encouraged to seek Morey’s former seat on the bench.

“A number of people expressed to me that they were not happy with the names being put forward,” McKissick said.

Crabtree said members of the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar who reside in Durham will vote for their preferred choices on Monday, April 24.

The top five names will go to Gov. Roy Cooper, Morey said. Cooper may choose someone from the submitted list or someone else. However, legislation is pending that calls for legislators to fill judicial vacancies.

McKissick has been a licensed attorney for 33 years having practiced in both state and federal courts in both civil and criminal matters and established a legal practice with his late father, civil rights icon Floyd McKissick Sr., 27 years ago.

He served on the Durham City Council for eight years and for approximately four years was the Chairman of the Board of the Land Loss Prevention Project.

He is the Senior Deputy Democratic Leader in the state Senate.

In February the Durham Democratic Party voted to name MaryAnn Black to fill the state House seat previously held by Larry Hall. Hall represented House District 29 from 2006 until Gov. Roy Cooper appointed him secretary for the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks

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