Under the Dome

Orange County lawmaker opts for an early oath

The newly elected state lawmakers get officially sworn into office Jan. 9 when the legislature convenes for a one-day organizational session.

But not all are waiting that long. Rep.-elect Valerie Foushee, a Democrat, will hold her own swearing in ceremony the day before at the Orange County Courthouse in HIllsborough. (Gov.-elect Pat McCrory also isn't waiting for the traditional inauguration, opting for a private ceremony at the Capitol a week earlier.)

Foushee's ceremony is perfectly acceptable, said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, as long as certain requirements are met. For example, only certain officials, such as judges, can administer the oath of office, he said.

Matt Hughes, the chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, said District Court Judge Beverly Scarlett will administer the oath in a 4 p.m. ceremony.

He said the state constitution said lawmakers' terms officials start Jan. 1. And because space for visitors is limited in the House gallery, he said Foushee wants to do a ceremony where more friends and supporters can attend.

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