Western North Carolina – As part of a January bi-annual ritual, local politicians are being sworn-in, receiving assignments or voted into leadership positions.
NC State Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) was sworn into his fourth term in the NC House Friday (Jan. 8) morning by outgoing Chief Justice Cheri Beasley at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Turner has served in House District 116 since first elected in 2014.
“I’m thankful that the voters in the new House District 116 trust that I will be a strong voice for them in Raleigh,” Turner said. “As we begin the new legislative session, I will work hard to ensure that trust is well-placed. It was a tremendous honor to have Chief Justice Beasley deliver the oath with my former Legislative Assistant and Chief of Staff to the Chief Justice, Anna Stearns holding my great-grandfather’s Bible.”
The 2021 long session begins with a ceremonial swearing-in on January 13th and the working session starting January 27th.
NC Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) announced his appointments to the following Senate committees, three of which he will serve as Chairman for the 2021-22 legislative biennium: Agriculture, Energy, and Environment (Chair), Commerce and Insurance (Chair), and Appropriations on Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources (Chair). In addition, he will also sit on the Finance, Judiciary, Redistricting, and Rules & Operations committees of the Senate.
“The driving force to get real work done in government, and to gain influence is through a legislator’s committee assignments-particularly one’s chairmanships,” said Edwards. “I’m gratified that the hard work in my first two terms has been recognized to the point that I’ve received such a critical and meaningful role in the NC Senate. From this new vantage point, I look forward to helping improve the lives of our citizens, protect our freedoms, and ensure sound futures for our grandchildren.”
Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore, said about Edwards, “From these significant committee assignments, Chuck’s business acumen, work ethic, and reputation in the Senate align him to make an even more substantial difference in North Carolinians’ lives. We are fortunate that the citizens of District 48 have sent him back to Raleigh to help us solve the problems we are facing today.”
The NC House Democratic Caucus elected a new team of four Whips to serve in the 2021-2022 General Assembly session. “A whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature (Wikipedia).” One of the four elected Whips is Representative Susan Fisher (D – Buncombe), who will serve as the Whip for incoming freshmen representatives.
“I look forward to serving our caucus as whip,” said Rep. Fisher. “It will be important to stick together on those issues of great importance to our state, like healthcare access, public education, and improving the lives of our citizens in the wake of the COVID pandemic.”