Halifax County’s next State Senator is Angela Bryant
By Roanoke Valley Woman on January 11, 2013
“She’s the greatest state representative in the history of Halifax County,” said NAACP President David Harvey
Three-term state Rep. Angela Bryant, D-Rocky Mount, is now a first-term state Senator for the Fourth North Carolina Senatorial District.
This change of title comes after Bryant was elected to fill the vacant seat left by the Dec. 14 death of State Sen. Ed Jones by the Senatorial District Four Democratic Executive Committee Thursday in Roanoke Rapids.
Bryant still has to officially be appointed to the seat by Gov.elect Pat McCrory, but under North Carolina Statute, if McCrory doesn’t appoint her, she will be seated after eight days.
The new Senator moves from a district of two counties, Franklin and Nash, and into a district of five counties, Halifax, Nash, Warren, Vance and Wilson. For the three terms she served in the House, Bryant’s district included Halifax County.
“My goal is to build a team that will meet our legislative needs,” Bryant said. “I think I can use my skills across a five-county region and do more as one of 50, as opposed to one of 100.”
Bryant said she will work hard to represent all five counties and all the residents who live in those counties, and said she will begin immediately reaching out to Vance and Wilson, where she’s not as well known.
The new Senator overcame the challenge of Terry Garrison, a 24-year County Commissioner from Vance County, who was the only other nominee put forth by the committee to replace Jones.
“I told (Garrison) before the meeting started we’re stuck with each other,” Bryant said. “If he wins, he’s my Senator, if I win, I’m his Senator, so we will have to work together.”
Each of the five counties sent two committee members, with business owner George Branch and County Commissioner Vernon Bryant representing Halifax County, each casting half the county’s 182 votes, the number based on every 300 residents in the county.
Branch cast all 91 of his votes for Bryant, while Vernon Bryant cast all 91 of his votes for Garrison.
Despite this split of the largest single block of votes on the committee, Bryant managed to reach a majority by sweeping Nash and Wilson Counties, while Garrison took Vance and Warren Counties.
The final tally was Bryant 324, Garrison 312.
Bryant’s win, said Halifax County Commissioners Chairman James Pierce, is a win for Halifax County.
“Everything the county has asked of her, she’s jumped on with both feet,” Pierce said.
Pierce said while Halifax County was about to lose Bryant due to redistricting, this win keeps her serving the county and he was pleased to see her remain.
Halifax County NAACP President David Harvey was also pleased to be able to continue to work with Bryant.
“She’s the greatest state representative in the history of Halifax County,” Harvey said. “She will work hard to represent everyone in the district, not just some, but all.”
State Sen. Don Davis, D-Snow Hill, chaired the committee that elected Bryant, and said Bryant must now resign from the House, and then Davis will chair an Executive Committee meeting with Nash and Franklin Counties to select Bryant’s replacement.
Davis said he’s glad this process is over and he’s looking forward to working for Eastern North Carolina alongside his newest colleague.
“We’ll be working closely together,” Davis said. “I look forward to working with her on issues that really matter, such as jobs, education and the economy. The only thing that is front and center is what’s in the best interests of our residents. That is our charge.”