Michael Lee sworn in as state senator - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Michael Lee sworn in as state senator

Michael Lee being sworn in as state senator. (Source: WECT) Michael Lee being sworn in as state senator. (Source: WECT)

During a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday afternoon, Wilmington attorney Michael Lee became a state senator until January, although he hopes the upcoming election will extend his tenure.  

Lee is finishing the term of Thom Goolsby, who said he's leaving the post early to spend more time with his family.  

The New Hanover County Republican Party's executive committee voted unanimously to nominate Lee, who chairs the North Carolina State Ports Authority and sits on the N.C. Board of Transportation. 

Lee won the May primary for the Senate seat and faces former school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh in the November election.  

"This is nothing more than a typical political stunt," Redenbaugh said in response to the nomination. "Michael Lee is the handpicked candidate of Thom Goolsby and the Raleigh political elite – the very group whose misguided priorities we need to change." 

Lee said the move could negatively affect his campaign because he will be spending less time on the trail. Plus, state election law bars him from accepting contributions from Political Action Committees as a senator.  

Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter administered Lee's oath of office at the Wilmington city council chambers. Earlier in the day, Gov. Pat McCrory said he would appoint Hunter to fill the seat of Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin, who will become chief justice in September.  

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