HILLSBOROUGH — A Democratic Party executive committee voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools administrator Graig Meyer to a vacant House District 50 seat.
Meyer’s sons Mason and William ran to hug their dad after he accepted the N.C. House District 50 Democratic Party Executive Committee’s nomination.
Meyer replaces now-state Sen. Valerie Foushee, who was appointed to the District 23 seat formerly held by retired state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird. Foushee was sworn into her new office Sept. 25. Kinnaird resigned in August to devote her time to helping voters prepare for the state’s new strict voter ID rules.
The House and Senate terms both expire in December 2014.
The four-member committee – Orange County representatives Dave Gephart and Phyllis Mack-Horton, and Durham County representatives Will Wilson and Ann Hedgspeth – conferred privately before casting their 269 votes – 97 for Durham’s members and 172 for Orange’s members.
The committee spread its first vote among several candidates. The second vote, just a few minutes later, was unanimous.
Meyer’s nomination will be forwarded to Gov. Pat McCrory for official appointment.
The Democratic Party needs a strong vision if it’s going to make a difference for the state, Meyer said. His priorities include the elderly, restoring fairness in issues related to women, voters and the environment; and solidifying Democratic Party control of the governor’s mansion and the General Assembly by 2016. He’s also an advocate for education and prosperity, he said.
“I want to make the people … proud again to say, ‘I am from the great state of North Carolina,’” he said.
Meyer is director of Student Equity and Volunteer Services for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Since 1998, he has been coordinator of the district’s Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate program for minority students, which he continues to oversee in addition to the school district’s new Parent University program.
His wife is a teacher in the Durham Public Schools. They also have a daughter, Ashley, who attends college in Charlotte.