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Senators elect seven members to UNC Board of Governors

The North Carolina Senate elected seven people Wednesday to the governing panel for the 17-campus University of North Carolina system.

Senators reelected to the UNC Board of Governors board Chair Randy Ramsey, discount retailer CEO and conservative philanthropist Art Pope of Raleigh and Jimmy Clark of Greensboro, the owner of a heavy transportation company. Ramsey is a boat-building company executive from Carteret County.

Board newcomers also elected to four-year terms are investment firm partner Lee Roberts of Raleigh, who was then-Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director; security-services firm president Sonja Nichols of Charlotte; and real estate developer Kirk Bradley of Sanford.

Separately, senators also selected former Democratic state Sen. Joel Ford of Charlotte to fill out the term of Darrell Allison, who resigned in September. Allison is now the Fayetteville State University chancellor.

The Senate voted 45-3 for Ford. The chamber confirmed approval of the slate of six other candidates — each already picked by a majority of senators in paper balloting — by a vote of 39-8.

Every two years the House and Senate each usually elect six candidates to serve four-year terms on the 24-voting member board. The House hasn’t yet announced its election date.

The board has been largely filed with favorites of Republicans since the GOP took over the General Assembly in 2011. Senate Democrats have complained in previous elections about their ability to offer successful candidates and the lack of racial diversity on the board. Ford and Nichols are black.

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