State News

Hackney to continue as leader of House Democrats

Posted December 21, 2010 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 21, 2010 5:38 p.m. EST

— North Carolina House Democrats appear comfortable to be led by outgoing Speaker Joe Hackney for another two years, despite losing control of the chamber under his watch.

Democrats elected to the House last month met privately Tuesday at the Legislative Building and elected Hackney as minority leader. He was the only announced candidate for the job.

Hackney served as speaker the past four years but is on his way out of the post because Republicans won 68 of the 120 seats on Election Day. The Orange County Democrat has attributed the electoral losses to a national wave that swept in Republicans.

The Democrats' priorities for the coming legislative session will be to support quality education, job creation and fair redistricting, Hackney said.

“We know what kind of North Carolina the people of this state have come to expect,” he said in a statement. “They want us to protect education at all levels. They want us to protect investment in job creation programs, and they want a chance to fairly elect the people who represent them.

“We will join with Republicans when they are on the right path, but we will vigorously oppose any efforts to undermine progress in these areas,” he said.

House Democrats will a minority whip at a later date.

The General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 26.