Local News

State House Elects Black As Speaker, Morgan To Number 2 Post

Posted January 26, 2005 12:28 p.m. EST

— The General Assembly opened its two-year session today by electing Democrat Jim Black to a record-tying fourth term as House speaker and Republican Richard Morgan to the Number 2 post.

The House voted 100-20 to elect Black to lead the chamber. Morgan was elected as speaker pro tem to create a coalition government in the chamber for the second consecutive session.

Morgan shared the speakership with Black in an historic coalition in 2003 following a 60-60 split in the chamber. This year, House Democrats took the top post because they had a 63-57 majority after the November elections.

State Republican Party chairman Ferrell Blount had urged GOP legislators to reject any power-sharing arrangement. He blames the Black-Morgan coalition for redistricting maps that favored Democrats.

Senate leader Marc Basnight of Dare County is widely expected to be re-elected to a record seventh term Wednesday. Democrats outnumber Republicans 29-21 in the chamber.