NC state Sen. Earline Parmon to resign next week

Posted January 22, 2015

— A Winston-Salem Democrat will resign from the North Carolina Senate next week and become an aide in the office of new U.S. Rep. Alma Adams.

Sen. Earline Parmon, who joined the legislature in 2003 and has been in the Senate the past two years, has been hired as the 12th District congresswoman's outreach director, Adams chief of staff Rhonda Foxx said in an email. Adams and Parmon served together in the House for years.

In a phone interview before Foxx's confirmation of her hiring, Parmon was coy about her next move after leaving the legislature effective Jan. 28. That's the day General Assembly members return from a two-week hiatus to begin considering legislation.

Parmon, 71, cited the death of her husband last July after a brief illness as a turning point for her to look at new opportunities and options to serve. Foxx said Parmon was offered the 12th District position independently of her resignation.

"The knowledge Earline has gained through her extensive work in the community is a welcomed addition that will bring added value to team Adams," Foxx said in a news release.

A former Forsyth County commissioner and recent Legislative Black Caucus leader, Parmon was an education consultant who joined the House in 2003. She said she was proud of her involvement in efforts for the state to provide financial compensation to those sterilized under North Carolina's past eugenics program. The legislature in 2013 approved a $10 million pool of compensation funds.

Parmon was a primary sponsor of legislation that ultimately became law in 2009 that allowed convicted murderers to have their sentences reduced to life in prison if they could prove racial bias influenced the outcome of their cases. She was also a chief sponsor of a 2007 law creating same-day voter registration during the early voting period.

"The opportunity to make voting (more) accessible to people was one of my highlights of being in the legislature," she said.

The death penalty law — called the Racial Justice Act — and same-day registration later were repealed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. In recent years, she's also been outspoken in her efforts to reduce state delays in getting food stamps to her constituents and others.

"Earline Parmon is a true grassroots politician and has long been a tireless champion of her community and our state," Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, said in a statement.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Parmon was respected on both sides of the political aisle.

"While we are pleased to hear she will be continuing her public service, we will miss her in the General Assembly," Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement.

Parmon sent her registration letter dated Wednesday to Gov. Pat McCrory.

Parmon said Forsyth County Democrats will meet Jan. 29 to choose her replacement in the Senate. McCrory is required by law to appoint the choice of local Democrats to serve out her term through late 2016.


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