Ex-Rep. Batch heading to NC Senate; mayor joining House

Sydney Batch, who served one term in the N.C. House, will join the N.C. Senate on Wednesday.

RALEIGH — A recently defeated state legislator and a small-town mayor have been chosen to fill vacancies at the North Carolina General Assembly just before the new session convenes this week.

Wake County Democratic activists meeting over the weekend picked former Rep. Sydney Batch and Knightdale Mayor James Roberson to fill seat vacancies.

Batch is a family-law attorney who will succeed state Sen. Sam Searcy. Searcy resigned last week after announcing the previous week his decision to step down before the two-year session begins. Batch had served one term in the House before losing her reelection bid in November to Republican Erin Pare.

Roberson will fill a House vacancy created when Rep. Darren Jackson was appointed to the state Court of Appeals by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Cooper is now obligated by state law to formally appoint Batch and Roberson to these seats. Both Jackson and Searcy had won reelection in November, so the appointments will extend through the end of 2022.

State lawmakers will be seated during a one-day meeting on Wednesday in which chamber officers will be elected. The legislature will then adjourn until Jan. 27.