Bryant steps down from Senate for parole post

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After 15 years as an elected official, retired Sen. Angela Bryant started a new chapter Monday as the latest of Gov. Roy Cooper’s appointees to the N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission.

Bryant, 66, announced earlier this year her decision not to seek re-election in the state Senate after Nash County was removed from her district during the 2017 court-ordered redistricting process. She previously had planned to serve the remainder of her term, but said Monday the commission position became available, so she jumped at the opportunity.

“It is important to take these positions when they are available and this was available now,” she said. “With the timeliness of it, it was a fortunate confluence of circumstances and it seemed like a sign.”

Bryant served on the Rocky Mount City Council before being appointed to serve the remainder of Sen. Ed Jones’ term in 2007. She served in the House and Senate before deciding to retire from the General Aseembly.

Despite not seeking re-election, Bryant said she planned to continue to serve the community on a local level, but she was unsure what form that service would take.

Cooper, however, decided Bryant’s leadership in establishing re-entry councils for offenders and efforts to “ban the box” regarding felony convictions on job applications made her ideal for a position on the parole commission for an annual salary of $116,596.

“Angela Bryant has a strong track record of diligent, thoughtful service to our state and I know that will continue in her new role on the parole board,” Cooper said in a press release.

Bryant’s replacement for the remainder of her senatorial term will be determined by the Democratic Party Senate District 4 Executive Committee led by 1st Congressional District Chairwoman Kim Mack of Halifax County. That committee is expected to start the replacement process this week, but a timeline for naming a replacement was not released.

The Rocky Mount-based Democrat said she hopes to help with the transition to ensure residents in Wilson, Nash, Halifax, Vance and Warren counties retain representation in Raleigh.

“I am just thankful to the voters in Wilson County and the rest of my district for the six years in the Senate and 11 years in the House of Representatives,” Bryant said. “It was a blessing beyond compare. I hope I have provided some satisfactory service during that time and I’ll do all I can to help with the transition.”

Democrat Milton F. “Toby” Fitch of Wilson and Republican Richard Scott of Scotland Neck will square off in November’s general election to represent the new Senate District 4, which includes the entirety of Wilson, Edgecombe and Halifax counties.