Meet the Triangle's legislative delegation: Newcomers look to make a mark

jfrank@newsobserver.comJanuary 26, 2013 

  • More information Returning members of the Triangle House delegation Marilyn Avila, 64, Republican, fourth term District 40, Wake County Retired chemist and business owner Office: 2217 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5530 Email: Nelson Dollar, 51, Republican, fifth term District 36, Wake County Public relations consultant Office: 307B1 Legislative Office Bldg. Phon e: 919-715-0795 Email: Rosa Gill, 69, Democrat, second term District 33, Wake County Retired state employee Office: 1303 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5880 Email: Larry Hall, 57, Democrat, fourth term District 29, Durham County Attorney Office: 506 Legislative Office Bldg. Phone: 919-733-5872 Email: Verla Insko, 76, Democrat, ninth term District 56, Orange County Retired health program administrator Office: 502 Legislative Office Bldg. Phone: 919-733-7208 Email: Darren Jackson, 42, Democrat, third term District 39, Wake County Attorney Office: 1013 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5974 Email: Paul Luebke, 67, Democrat, 12th term District 30, Durham County UNC Greensboro sociology professor Office: 513 Legislative Office Building Phone: 919-733-7663 Email: Mickey Michaux Jr., 82, Democrat, 17th term District 31, Durham County Attorney, real estate agent and insurance agent Office: 1227 Legislative Building Phone: 919-715-2528 Email: Tom Murry, 35, Republican, second term District 41, Durham County Pharmacist, attorney Office: 2121 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5602 Email: Deborah Ross, 49, Democrat, sixth term District 34, Wake County Attorney Office: 1023 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5773 Email: Paul “Skip” Stam, 62, Republican, seventh term Speaker Pro Tem, District 37, Wake County Attorney Office: 612 Legislative Office Building Phone: 919-733-2962 Email: Returning members of the Triangle Senate delegation Dan Blue, 63, Democrat, second term (13 in the House) Democratic Caucus co-chairman, District 14, Wake County Attorney Office: 1117 Legislative Building Phone: 919-733-5752 Email: Neal Hunt, 70, Republican, fifth term District 15, Wake County President, HMC Corp. Office: 309 Legislative Office Bldg. Phone: 919-733-5850 Email: Ellie Kinnaird, 81, Democrat, ninth term District 23, Orange and Chatham counties Attorney Office: 628 Legislative Office Bldg. Phone: 919-733-5804 Email: Floyd McKissick Jr., 60, Democrat, third term Deputy Democratic leader, District 20, Durham and Granville counties Attorney Office: 516 Legislative Office Building Phone: 919-733-4599 Email: Josh Stein, 46, Democrat, third term Democratic whip, District 16, Wake County Attorney Office: 1113 Legislative Building Phone: 919-715-6400 Email:

The 2013 legislative session features many new faces – and the same is true for the Triangle’s delegation.

Seven lawmakers from the Triangle are new this year after legislative redistricting shifted the district boundaries, part of a larger trend in which 60 percent of lawmakers have served one term or less.

Sworn in earlier this month, the new lawmakers are feverishly studying the rules, meeting with lobbyists and getting up to speed on their new committee assignments. All lawmakers receive $20,659 in salary and expenses, but leaders such as Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam of Apex and Minority Leader Larry Hall of Durham make more ($31,771 and $25,040).

Here’s a look at the newest members of the local delegation and their outlook for the new session.

Rep. Valerie Foushee

Democrat, Orange and Durham counties

The former Orange County commissioner pledged in the campaign to bolster education and mental health services. Now, as a freshman in the minority political party, her outlook is more realistic. “I’m not so sure how much of that is going to happen,” she said.

But Foushee, 56, said she will still push to protect education spending and wants to fight any effort to require a photo ID to vote. “I think our system is based on ensuring everyone has the right to vote,” she said. “I think we need to strengthen that instead of finding ways to exclude folks.”

Her committee assignments include transportation and agriculture, a key area given her mostly rural district in the northern part of Orange and Durham counties. “I hope that when we look at job creation, we look at how we support farmers,” she said.

How to reach: 1111 Legislative Building, 919-715-3019,

Rep. Jim Fulghum

Republican, Wake County

Fulghum, 68, is one of the few new lawmakers to get a leadership position. The Raleigh neurosurgeon will serve as vice chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, and serve on the appropriations subcommittee for health. He is also on the insurance committee.

In the campaign, he said a top concern was controlling the state’s Medicaid budget. He did not respond to repeated requests last week for an interview about his outlook on the session.

How to reach: 602 Legislative Office Building, 919-733-5860,

Rep. Duane Hall

Democrat, Wake County

Representing Cary and western parts of Raleigh, Hall said he plans to focus on pushing for alternative transportation models now that he’s on the transportation committee. “There’s really no option except to find some rail options,” he said, noting projections showing Wake County will only continue to grow.

Hall, a 45-year-old attorney, also is taking strong stances on major issues. He vows to fight a plan from leading Republican lawmakers to eliminate income taxes.

And the Democratic caucus chairman has asked him to prepare a position paper on the voter ID issue to share with the caucus as it prepares to counter any GOP efforts to impose new voting restrictions. “It really upsets me,” he said. “I want as many people to vote as they can.”

How to reach: 1019 Legislative Building, 919-733-5755,

Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley

Democrat, Wake County

Amid Republican calls for sweeping changes, Holley “expects anything and everything” to take priority this session. But she wants to emphasize one theme: moderation. She used the word to discuss proposals to curtail unemployment benefits and overhaul the tax code, saying the GOP shouldn’t go too far.

“We need a moderate dollar amount for a livable wage, and to offer some true assistance when they need it,” she said. “I want to protect the person who is unemployed.”

Holley, a 61-year-old retired state worker, said she will “pick her battles” when it comes to fighting with the opposition party. “But when I speak up, I will be very passionate about it,” she added.

How to reach: 1211 Legislative Building, 919-733-5758,

Rep. Chris Malone

Republican, Wake County

Malone is leveraging his three years of experience on the Wake school board in his new role at the statehouse. He has a coveted seat and leadership position as an education committee vice chairman. He also sits on the appropriations subcommittee for education.

The 55-year-old senior case manager at G4S, a private security company, represents a district that stretches from Wake Forest to Wendell and Zebulon. His priorities for the session are broad, such as changes to the tax system and focusing on bringing in new jobs.

“We’re high on regulation, and we’re high on taxes, and we can certainly do more to bring industry into our town,” he said.

How to reach: 603 Legislative Office Building, 919-715-3010,

Sen. Chad Barefoot

Republican, Franklin and Wake counties

The youngest state senator – by seven years – Barefoot, 29, is not entirely new to the legislature. He served as a legislative aide in the House before running for office.

Now in the upper chamber, he will serve as vice-chairman on the education committee, and work on other powerful committees that will handle major legislation this session, such as finance, education appropriations, health care and rules. His district covers all of Franklin County and most of eastern Wake County.

Barefoot did not return multiple calls to discuss his agenda for the year.

How to reach: 623 Legislative Office Building, 919-715-3036,

Sen. Tamara Barringer

Republican, Wake County

Representing the Cary area, Barringer replaces retired Sen. Richard Stevens, a lawmaker who held significant clout. And it appears she will get a chance to play a major role herself.

The 54-year-old adjunct law professor at UNC-Chapel Hill will serve as one of two vice chairs on the commerce committee, an important role in a state with high unemployment. Her other assignments include education and finance committees.

Barringer could not be reached for comment about her legislative priorities this session.

How to reach: Office: 411 Legislative Office Building, 919-733-5653,

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