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Nine-Term Senate Democrat Ellie Kinnaird Resigns

Democratic Senator Ellie Kinnaird announced her resignation Monday. She had served nine terms.

Nine-term Democratic Senator Ellie Kinnaird has announced she's resigning. Representing Orange and Chatham Counties, the 81-year-old Kinnaird served 17 years in the state Senate and was also once mayor of Carrboro. Kinnaird says there's no greater privilege than to make public policy, but she says she was frustrated at not being able to influence legislation. She was one of only 17 Democrats in the 50-member Senate.

“I feel like I couldn't get anything done in the short session,” Kinnaird says. “And so what I have decided is that I will take my time and energy in a direction that will turn around this radical agenda, if you will, in particular how it relates to early voting.”

In a letter on her Facebook page, Kinnaird says "the actions taken by the Republican majority in the legislature that has been a shocking reversal of the many progressive measures that I and many others have worked so hard to enact," however she says she is heartened by recent grassroots efforts including the Moral Mondays protests.

Governor Pat McCrory recently signed an elections law that requires photo identification to vote. Kinnarid plans to work with churches and other community organizations to get voter ID's to those who don't have them. Her replacement will be chosen by a committee of Democrats from Orange and Chatham Counties. 

Fed up with the frigid winters of her native state, Catherine was lured to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up in Wisconsin where she spent much of her time making music and telling stories. Prior to joining WUNC, Catherine hosted All Things Considered and classical music at Wisconsin Public Radio. She got her start hosting late-nights and producing current events talk shows for the station's Ideas Network. She later became a fill-in talk show host and recorded books for WPR's popular daily program, Chapter A Day.
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