Democratic leader Hall to head N.C. military affairs department

Democratic leader Hall to head N.C. military affairs department
January 19
07:45 2017



Just three weeks into his new administration, and there seems to be little question about Gov. Roy Cooper’s commitment to diversity in his Cabinet, the most recent addition being District 29 state Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham), who recently stepped down as House minority leader for the Democrats in the NC. House after two sessions, as secretary of veterans and military affairs.

Secretary Hall, who took the oath of office Monday evening, administered by U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield at Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, succeeds Cornell Wilson, who was appointed by former Gov. Pat McCrory as that department’s first secretary in 2015.

Hall’s appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation after it convenes the long session beginning Jan. 25,  although Cooper has filed a lawsuit challenging Senate confirmation. The General Assembly passed laws, including mandating that lawmakers must approve Cooper’s Cabinet picks, as it closed its session in December. Cooper challenges what it calls the “unprecedented” provision making the governor’s Cabinet appointments subject to Senate confirmation, the News and Observer reports.

Cooper made the announcement last week at the Executive Mansion, saying that Hall, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1976 to 1995, “…will be working closely with people in Washington concerning our military bases, and he will be working to make sure that North Carolina veterans are treated like they should be because of their courageous service on behalf of our country.”

Hall, 61, was gratified to serve the new Democratic governor in a new role.

“I am honored to continue my service to the people of this state in another capacity,” the Durham Democrat told reporters. “I come from a multiple military family – the Marines, the Army, and the Air Force – and I have an inherent love, appreciation, and respect for the military and our veterans. Understanding what we owe our military and veterans in this state and understanding the impact of the military and veterans on this state, we will be working to ensure that not only our military and veterans, but their families as well, receive the best care and the best access.”

Hall continued, “We will do all we can to ensure their position is recognized as an economic leader in the state, and to ensure that position is preserved and advanced.  I am happy to be on the team to move North Carolina forward with our new governor.”

Hall’s former legislative colleague, Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), was elated.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Lowe told The Chronicle Monday. “Larry is a fine person, and a veteran. He’s worked in the legislature for years, and he brings certainly some wisdom to that office. I’m excited for him, and think he’ll do a fine job.”

“Congratulations sir, looking forward to your leadership in this important role,” wrote Durham’s African-American female Police Chief Cerelyn Davis on Hall’s Facebook page.

Hall, who has served in the N.C. House of Representatives since 2006, once served as vice chairman of the Veteran Affairs Committee. He is also credited with leading the state House Democratic Caucus in gaining the most seats under a Republican-controlled legislature in 2014.

A native of Durham, Secretary Hall grew up at Fort Bragg during his father’s services in the U.S. Army. He later graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte with a B.S. degree with honors in political science and business, and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

During his 16 years in the US Marine Corps and Marine Reserves, Hall has been awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Citation from the United States Marine Corps.  He later returned to North Carolina Central University in Durham to teach at the School of Law and the School of Public Administration.

In September 2016, Hall was named Legislator of the Year by Equality N.C. because of his “steadfast advocacy of human rights and dignity” when he vigorously opposed the Republican-sponsored House Bill 2, which critics said discriminates against gay an transgender citizens.

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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