Rep. Valerie Foushee, D-Durham, was nominated Sunday to fill the N.C. Senate seat that Ellie Kinnaird vacated last month.
She will represent Orange and Chatham counties for the remainder of Kinnaird’s term, which ends December 2014. The three voting members of the Orange County Democratic Party committee voted unanimously to appoint Foushee.
Foushee said after the vote that she did not expect to win and didn’t even prepare an acceptance speech, because she believed she would come in second.
“I’m surprised and grateful, but I know we have work to do, and I’m ready to hit the ground running,” she said in an interview.
Foushee said her main goal while serving the remainder of Kinnaird’s term is to fight some of the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly’s policies.
“All the progress that Democrats have made over the years is being eroded,” she said.
During her nomination speech, she said she would work with Kinnaird to combat recent changes to the state’s voting laws, which require voters to have a government-issued photo ID.
She also said she wants to focus on reclaiming the Chatham County Board of Commissioner s. That board is Republican dominated, with a Republican chairman.
The decisions took two rounds of voting to finalize. In the first round, votes were split equally between Foushee and Amy Tiemann, an author and media producer.