By Taylor Sisk
Orange County Commissioner Valerie Foushee has announced she will run as a Democratic candidate for the N.C. House of Representatives District 50 seat in the May 8 primary.
Under redistricting plans, District 50 will include portions of Orange and Durham counties. That seat is presently held by Bill Faison, who announced he will be vying for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Rod Chaney and W. Lewis Hannah Jr. have announced they are running for the seat in the Republican primary.
In a prepared statement, Foushee listed her priorities, if elected, as promoting economic recovery and development, restoring funding to all levels of education, strengthening health care and restoring transparency to government.
In District 54, Republican Cathy Wright and Democrats Deb McManus and Jeff Starkweather will seek election to the seat previously held by Joe Hackney, who announced he will not run for reelection.
The newly drawn District 54 includes all of Chatham County and a portion of Lee County.
Last week, Rep. Verla Insko announced she will seek reelection to the District 56 seat. District 56 includes Carrboro and Chapel Hill.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Ellie Kinnaird filed to run for her ninth term representing the 23rd district in the N.C. Senate.
Also announcing for reelection was Democratic Rep. David Price, who will be seeking his 13th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving the stateâ€™s Fourth District.
Orange and Chatham
In Orange County, Bernadette Pelissier will run in the Democratic primary for a second term as an at-large member of the board of commissioners, and Mary Carter will run in the Republican primary for the same seat.
Pam Hemminger will seek reelection to a District 1 seat, and will be challenged in the Democratic primary by Chapel Hill Town Council member Penny Rich. With Fousheeâ€™s departure, two seats are up for election in District 1.
Democrats Steve Yuhasz, an incumbent, and Renee Price will square off for one seat in District 2, and Chris Weaver will run in the District 2 GOP primary.
In a statement, Pelissier said that if reelected she will work to â€œpromote economic resilience, secure the fiscal sustainability and expand the non-residential tax base by creating new jobs for Orange County residents that support our community values of social equity, quality education, environmental health and economic vitality.â€
In Chatham County, Democrat Sally Kost announced last week she will seek a second term to the District 1 seat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Democrat Mike Cross had previously filed to run for reelection to his District 2 seat.
And Karen Howard, a lawyer and mother of four, filed on Monday to run for the District 1 seat in the nonpartisan Chatham County Board of Education race.
â€œOne issue I am most concerned about is hydraulic fracking to mine natural gas in Chatham,â€ Kost said in a statement. â€œFracking has the potential to forever change our groundwater and landscape, and we must have elected leaders who are working to protect our quality of life and our natural resources.â€
Howard has served as vice president of two PTAs in the county schools.
The deadline for filing for all offices is noon on Feb. 29.