Local Politics

Malone's Senate replacement to be named next month

Posted April 24, 2009 6:04 p.m. EDT

— Wake County Democratic Party officials will meet next month to nominate and choose a replacement for a state Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Vernon Malone.

Malone, 77, died of natural causes at his Raleigh home on April 18. The Democrat and former educator had represented District 14 in the General Assembly for four years.

Members of the State Senate District Executive Committee will meet May 6 to place their nominations and hear from nominees. The committee is expected to choose Malone's replacement the same day.

The governor, however, must appoint the replacement.

State Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, and Wake County Board of Education Chairwoman Rosa Gill are among names that have been mentioned for the seat.

Blue served as a state representative for 19 years, including as Speaker of the House for three years, until 2002, when he ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. Senate seat. He returned to the General Assembly in 2006, replacing Rep. Bernard Allen, who died of a stroke.

Gill, a retired teacher and former administrator for the state Department of Transportation, also served as chairwoman of the Wake County Democratic Party and the Wake County Board of Elections. She was selected the board of education's chair in 2007.

Alexander Killens, a former commissioner of the state Division of Motor Vehicles, lobbyist Marlowe Foster and Bernard Allen Jr., the son of Rep. Allen, are also possible choices.

The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association and the Wake African-American Caucus will host a forum May 2 to hear from expected nominees.