Jean Smith Sivoli, chairwoman of the Harnett County Democratic Party, is the new Democratic candidate for the North Carolina Senate’s 12th district.

Sivoli was named Thursday night by a committee of Democrats from Lee, Harnett and Johnston counties to replace Howard Baldwin, who withdrew from the race last week.

Sivoli has been chair of the Harnett County Democratic Party since 2015. She has less than 100 days to put together a campaign organization and raise the funds necessary to take on Republican Jim Burgin, an insurance agent and former chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, for the seat being vacated by three-term Republican Sen. Ron Rabin.

The 12th District is comprised of all of Lee and Harnett counties, as well as a handful of precincts in Johnston County.

Baldwin, a retired Air Force major, didn’t give a reason for quitting the race. He hadn’t raised any money since filing for the seat in February, while Burgin reported having more than $28,000 cash on hand at the end of the last campaign finance reporting period.

It was unknown Thursday whether Sivoli would remain in her role as chair of the Harnett County Democratic Party as she runs for the senate.

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