ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Davis nominated to fill McComas’ seat in NC House District 19

by Michelle Saxton
Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Hanover County Commission Chairman Ted Davis Jr. may get an early or brief taste of the state House position he is seeking after being nominated to serve as a temporary replacement in the seat recently vacated by Rep. Danny McComas, R-New Hanover. 

The New Hanover County Republican Party nominated Davis on Thursday, Sept. 13, chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso said. The nomination was to be sent to Gov. Bev Perdue, who will then have seven days to approve the recommendation, or it passes automatically.

Davis was the only nominee, and his name was granted enough approval by the approximately 60 Republican party members at the meeting from the old House District 19 McComas had represented, Amoroso said.

The 2012 election reflects redistricting changes – which are made about every 10 years – to the state House and Senate districts since the 2010 Census count.

Davis, a Republican and Wilmington divorce attorney, was running against Kure Beach Town Councilwoman Emilie Swearingen, a Democrat and longtime teacher, for the House District 19 seat in the November general election.

News of Davis’ name being considered for the nomination surfaced earlier in the week. When asked about it Swearingen questioned having a current candidate fill the position.

“The most honorable thing they could do is select a placeholder, someone who is not running, who would just be there for us if there’s an emergency,” Swearingen said Monday, Sept. 10. “The Legislature has adjourned for the year.”

Davis also spoke earlier in the week about the possibility of being nominated, saying that would offer an early learning opportunity.

“If I get this appointment and I’m sworn in as a member of the House I will have an opportunity to go to Raleigh and start learning the ropes as far as who are the people I need to know and what the processes are,” Davis said Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

Davis, who began serving as a county commissioner in 1996, addressed concerns with leaving the commission early, saying he would only miss four meetings and that the most pressing current issue – a solid waste contract with Covanta Energy – was put on the fast track and on the agenda for the Monday, Sept. 17 meeting.

McComas, who had served New Hanover County in the state House for about 18 years, had decided earlier this year against running for re-election. His term runs through 2012, but he recently resigned after being named a new chairman of the North Carolina State Ports Authority Board of Directors.

Meanwhile, the New Hanover County Republican Party will call another executive meeting for recommendations to fill Davis’ seat in the commission once he resigns to be sworn in the House, Amoroso said.

“It’s a domino effect,” she said.

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