- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Democratic minority leader in the North Carolina House for the previous two legislative sessions will leave the General Assembly to join Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration as secretary of veterans and military affairs.

Rep. Larry Hall of Durham was by Cooper’s side Friday when the governor named him the department’s next leader and Dr. Mandy Cohen the state health and human services secretary.

Hall is a Durham attorney who served in the Marine Corps for 16 years. He joined the House in 2006 and became minority leader in 2013. He didn’t seek the leadership job again last month.

Hall “will be working closely with people in Washington concerning our military bases and he will be working to make sure that North Carolina veterans are treated like they should be because of their courageous service on behalf of our country,” Cooper said at an Executive Mansion news conference.

Hall, 61, said he understands the military’s importance to North Carolina’s economy and well-being. He grew up at Fort Bragg while his father served in the Army and was stationed at Camp Lejeune.

“I’m certainly glad to serve in another capacity here in North Carolina, and one of my great loves is the veteran population and the military population” in the state, Hall said.

The veterans and military affairs agency became a Cabinet-level department in 2015. Gov. Pat McCrory appointee Cornell Wilson was the department’s first secretary.

Hall said later Friday that he would resign from the House early next week as he begins his new job. Durham County Democratic activists will meet to pick someone who will serve out the remainder of his term through the end of 2018.



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