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Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Pittsboro, NC - Former Chatham County Board of Education Chair and Terry Sanford protege, Kathie Russell, a Raleigh attorney announces her intent to replace Deb McManus as the representative in house district 54.
“I am unhappy with the direction of the legislature in North Carolina today." Russell said " I want to be a voice for middle class and working class folks and single moms--people I can relate to”
Ms. Russell, a strong Democrat, served on the Board of Education in Chatham County from 2006 until 2010, with the last two years of her tenure as the board's chair. Her leadership coincided with the hiring of the system's first African-American Superintendent, Robert Logan, significant investment in capital projects and cooperation with the County's Board of Commissioners and municipalities.
Also a point of pride during her tenure was the construction and naming of the LEED Gold Margaret Pollard Middle School in North Chatham, which was only the second school named for an African-American in the system. She was prevented from running for reelection in 2010 by a mapping error that changed the boundary of her district.
“I always regretted my inability to run for reelection in 2010" Russell said "I have three children in the county school system and public education is very important to me and my family. I will make access to an affordable education a constant priority if I am selected to serve District 54 in the legislature."
Ms. Russell believes North Carolina progressive values are based on a strong educational system that is accessible to all citizens. She considers herself one of the last proteges of Governor Terry Sanford and admires his vision and legacy.
“When I was in law school at UNC-Chapel Hill, I became acquainted with Governor Sanford" Russell said "I later worked closely with him at the McNair Law Firm and we spent a lot of time together. He gave me a graduate level education on North Carolina history and I drove him to Richmond, Virginia at least once a month to meet with a writing professor, who was advising him on a book he was writing. He always thought that I would get into politics and serve. I regret that he passed away before I was first elected in 2006. He loved me and I loved him and he always said that I
would be in office someday."
Russell also believes that the legacy of great leaders like Terry Sanford is under attack by the current extreme group of legislators in Raleigh and she wants to preserve his legacy and build on it for a new generation of Tar Heels.
“Even as a young attorney learning my way I was very impressed with Governor Sanford's achievements, especially the construction of North Carolina's Community College System" Russell said "the current legislature should be embarrassed by its efforts to dismantle his legacy and reverse decades of progress. For this and other good reasons I support the Moral Monday movement that has been spearheaded by the NAACP and its affiliated allies. "
Russell intends to be a strong voice for woman as well and is incensed by the focus on woman by the right wing GOP and the gamesmanship played this last legislative session.
"I represent various groups working within the motorcycle industry and I ride as well." Russell said "To slip woman's health issues into a motorcycle safety bill cuts against the grain of what bikers believe and woman deserve. The community is about live and let live and opposes forcing one's beliefs on the community at large. This was an assault on women's health connected to a bill purporting to be about riding safety. I intend to go to Raleigh and mean what I say and say what I mean."
Russell started her law firm in 1998 and specializes in corporate law, business law, and real estate law. She graduated from UNC Law School in 1994 and lives with her three children, Grayson, Zoe, and Kali in Moncure, NC.
Russell, Goetcheus & Associates
The Lane Building
727 West Hargett Street, Suite 109
Raleigh, NC 27603
"I want to be a voice for middle class and working folks and people I can relate to like single moms."
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