Former Currituck County Commissioner Paul O’Neal has been nominated to fill the Sixth District seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
That seat came available when now Sen. Bobby Hanig of Powells Point was named to replace Sen. Bob Steinburg, who retired from the N.C. General Assembly at the end of July.
Republican leaders in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties met Monday to consider O’Neal, who was the lone name submitted for the appointment to fill out the term that ends in January. The nomination will now be sent to Governor Roy Cooper for final approval.
A Republican from Waterlily, O’Neal served on the Currituck Board of Commissioners from 1994 to 2006 and then from 2008 to 2016, and is currently a member of the College of the Albemarle Board of Trustees and the Currituck Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
O’Neal will be on the Currituck ballot in November, but not to maintain a seat in the legislature. He is instead running for the Currituck County Board of Education.
The northeast corner of the state has been split into three House districts ahead of the 2022 elections.
Rep. Edward Goodwin (R-Chowan) is unopposed in the new First District covering Currituck, Chowan, northern Dare (Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and Duck), Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties; Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) unopposed in the 79th covering Beaufort, the rest of Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties; and Rep. Howard Hunter (D-Hertford Co.) faces a challenged from Republican Bill Ward of Elizabeth City in the 5th which includes Camden, Pasquotank, Gates and Hertford counties.
While the legislature wrapped up its work in the short session at the beginning of July, they still have not official adjourned.
Hanig said no major votes are expected, with skeleton session taking place about every 30 days.
He said a major reason a full adjournment did not take place is in case a hurricane were to hit the state this season and the General Assembly can approve an emergency relief package without having to be called into special session.
Steinburg, who lost in the Republican primary to Sen. Norm Sanderson of Pamlico County in the redrawn First District, stepped down so he can be eligible to be a registered lobbyist when the 2023-24 session begins at the N.C. General Assembly next winter.
Unopposed in the May primary for the Republican nomination to the Third District Senate seat, Hanig will face Valerie Jordan, a Democrat from Warren County, in the November general election.