- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The replacement for recently resigned North Carolina state Sen. Dan Soucek has officially joined the chamber.

Deanna Ballard of Blowing Rock was sworn in to office Wednesday to fill out the remainder of Soucek’s two-year term representing the 45th District covering five northwestern counties. She took her seat during the afternoon floor session.

Soucek already had announced he wasn’t seeking re-election and resigned April 8. Local Republican activists chose Ballard, who was then appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Ballard already had won the Republican primary last month for the seat starting in 2017 and faces Democrat Art Sherwood in November.

Ballard works for the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, led by the Rev. Franklin Graham. She previously worked in President George W. Bush’s administration, particularly with first lady Laura Bush.

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