A first-term state lawmaker already is looking for a promotion. State Rep. Valerie Foushee, a Chapel Hill Democrat, announced Wednesday she would seek the appointment to replace retiring state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird.
Foushee won election to the legislature in November to a district that covers Orange and Durham counties. She maintained a low profile in her first session, often deferring interview requests and speaking little on the House floor -- a contrast to Kinnaird who is a vocal critic of the Republican-led Senate. Foushee's prior experience includes the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board and the Orange County Commission, chairing both during her tenure.
“I’m pursuing this seat because Orange County is my home and I want to be able to represent the entire county, as well as Chatham, in the legislature,” Foushee said in a statement. “I understand the tensions between the rural and urban areas and as a former representative of both, I am uniquely qualified to represent Senate District 23.”
The announcement included a number of local endorsements, including Democratic state Rep. Deb McManus, the entire Chapel Hill-Carrboro School board, Orange County Commissioners Earl McKee and Bernadette Pelissier; Chapel Hill Town Councilman Lee Storrow; and Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Michelle Johnson.
Kinnaird resigned effective immediately earlier this week. The Democratic leaders in her district will pick the replacement. Former state Rep. Alice Bordsen is also interested in filling Kinnaird's seat.