State Senator Ellie Kinnaird Resigns

From an email just received:

Dear Friends,

This is my last newsletter to you. After a great deal of thought, I have decided to resign my position in the North Carolina Senate. It has been a great privilege and I have been honored to be chosen to represent the people of this district. Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this way, thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas and for your support over the years.

It has also been a pleasure to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate and our superb, professional legislative staff as well as elected officials and their staff in the towns and counties in the district. I have years of happy memories working to make a difference in the lives of the people of North Carolina. I want to say a special thank you to Kathie Young, my Legislative Assistant, whom many of you know as the warm and welcoming voice to all who call or come to the office. Kathie and I have been friends and political workers together for over 30 years. When I was elected, I asked her to come with me on this journey and it has been a happy shared adventure and partnership for seventeen years.

What led me to this decision are the actions taken by the Republican majority in the legislature that has been a shocking reversal of the many progressive measures that I and many others have worked so hard to enact: measures that over the years had made North Carolina a model of moderate-to-progressive, pro-business but also pro-people public policy in the South. From the Republicans' denial of health care security for our people to their failure to promote a vibrant work force through support for our education systems at all levels and from their tax cuts for the wealthy and their tax increases for the poor and middle class to their efforts to deny people their right to vote, they have been pursuing a divisive and, I think, immoral agenda. The needless pain and suffering the Republicans have brought upon us that I have written about add up to a huge setback for North Carolinians from all walks of life. My own personal sadness is the dismantling of my environmental, social justice and death penalty efforts.

I am heartened, however, by the many grassroots efforts to fight for the rights, the health and safety and the opportunities our people need and deserve from the Moral Monday movement to the many non-governmental organizations that advocate for the people of our state, not the special interests. It is here that I want and need to put my energy and efforts. I am working with others on a grass-roots project to make sure everyone in the state has a proper voter ID so that no votes are denied, even though the Voter ID bill is aimed at exactly that - repressing the vote. I am going to work for candidates in the next election who reflect our values. The values of all those who came to Moral Mondays and who have contacted me by emails, calls and letters expressing your dismay at what has happened to our progressive and forward-looking state. I look forward to working together to change this course and restore our state to the shining beacon it was for so long.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve the people of this district.

My best to each and every one of you.


OP regular Gerry Cohen provided some additional helpful information.

#ncga Senator Ellie Kinnaird has resigned effective today after 17 years. 4-member district executive comm will appoint replacement

— Gerry Cohen (@gercohen) August 19, 2013

#ncga Senator Ellie Kinnaird vacancy procedure 163-11(d)

— Gerry Cohen (@gercohen) August 19, 2013

#ncga Orange Chatham Senatorial Executive committee to fill Kinnaird vacancy weighted voting one vote per 300 census pop, Orange controls

— Gerry Cohen (@gercohen) August 19, 2013
As Gerry notes, Senator Kinnaird's replacement will be chosen by a four member district committee of the Democratic Party, made up of two members from each Chatham and Orange County. Chatham County's district committee slots are currently vacant and will be chosen by an emergency meeting of their Democratic County Executive Committee. The Orange County Democratic Party's representatives to the committee are Samantha Cabe and Wanda Hunter. The governor is obligated by law to appoint their selection.



Maybe some of you overlooked the new election law that does away (thank goodness) with straight party ticket voting. This will make Val's seat more of a challenge to win where the Senate seat will be safer for the dems. Not to mention that each person has to work only 4 people to win the seat vs. the cost and campaign to challenge a 1 year appointee. Any of the other answers are fluff at best.

That's simple voter education and any candidate for office in 2014 will have to make that case, including in Senate 23.

Its not oversimpliciation it just calling the way it is, just like Ellie wanting to get a handpicked woman in her seat. If you think its just voter education then  have at it, but both parties are going to have to work to id their candidates thru out the State. I predict there will be more candidate mail in our boxes and more public appearances in contested races.

Your skepticism is noted. I also accept that SD-23, one of the most solidly Democratic of all districts, is more secure of a seat than HD-50. That being said, HD-50 is a district that Obama won by double digits in 2012. Any competent Democrat will hold the seat. 

The relative "safety" of the Senate 23 seat is exactly why I think we should have the most progressive, most activist leader in that seat. If Foushee gives up her House 50 seat, we could well find ourselves with a less progressive leader in there given the make up of that district. I mean it when I say we are lucky to have her there. We could do a lot worse within the range of possible Democrats who might run. 

While the district is more moderate than House 56 or Senate 23, I don't believe you're going to end up with a Conservadem in that seat. There's one potential candidate I've heard of who is a DINO and would lose a primary handily.

I wish we didn't have to settle for Progressive in Name Only.



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