- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A recently defeated state legislator and a small-town mayor were formally appointed on Monday to fill vacancies at the North Carolina General Assembly just before the new session convenes this week.

Wake County Democratic activists meeting over the weekend picked former Rep. Sydney Batch and Knightdale Mayor James Roberson to fill the vacancies.

Gov. Roy Cooper, following his obligation in state law to follow the wishes of local party leaders, signed their appointment proclamations on Monday.

Batch is a family-law attorney who will succeed state Sen. Sam Searcy, who resigned last week after announcing the previous week his decision to step down before the two-year session begins. Batch had served one term in the House before losing her reelection bid in November.

Roberson will fill a House vacancy created as Rep. Darren Jackson was appointed to the state Court of Appeals by Cooper.



Democrats Jackson and Searcy had won reelection in November, so the appointments will extend through the end of 2022.

State lawmakers will be seated during a one-day meeting on Wednesday in which chamber officers will be elected. The legislature will then adjourn until later in the month.

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