With Sen. Valerie Foushee taking the oath of office today at the Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro, the appointment process for her replacement to represent House District 50 can officially begin.
If you've been following the news, though, you know that there are already several declared candidates for the seat, and that things have already unofficially begun.
At the time of this post, declared candidates are:
- Chapel Hill Town Councilmember Laurin Easthom
- Businessman Tommy McNeill
- Director of Student Equity and Volunteer Services for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Graig Meyer
- Attorney Drew Nelson
- Orange County Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier
Graig Meyer, who was one of the four members of the HD-50 selection committee, resigned to seek the seat himself. This means that members of the Orange County Democratic Party County Executive Committee residing in precincts within HD-50 will meet on October 1st to appoint his replacement. Party Chair Matt Hughes has recommended Dave Gephart to replace Meyer. Hughes notes that Gephart "has been a county party vice chair, precinct chair, and presently serves as secretary of the 6th Congressional District. He's a business owner in the county; attended UNC Chapel Hill; and is known for being fair and a team player." You can read more about the selection process itself at this post by Gerry Cohen.
I'm personally a bit surprised at how low-key this race has been so far with so many candidates already stepping forward. My guess is that, with now-Senator Foushee officially appointed, we'll be hearing more from the candidates and the selection committee in the coming days and weeks.