Elaine Marshall: Standing up for North Carolinians
Elaine is North Carolina’s Secretary of State. She made history by being the first woman elected to statewide executive office in 1997, when she defeated legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty.
As Secretary of State, Elaine has received international recognition for her efforts to protect copyrights and deter counterfeit goods. The Secretary of State’s office today is a key law enforcement agency protecting consumers, investors, and charitable givers against securities fraud and financial scams. Elaine’s commitment to protecting investors and combating financial fraud has lead to the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars from major Wall Street banks for North Carolina investors and charities. Under Elaine’s leadership the Secretary of State’s office has worked with the FBI and US attorney’s offices to obtain convictions of several of those responsible for the fraud.
Since taking office, Elaine has cut the costs of doing business for companies and individuals —helping small businesses create jobs. She has taken on lobbyists in Raleigh, reforming North Carolina’s ethics laws. Elaine has also kept North Carolina up to date with improved information technology, making information available to businesses, investors and individuals. Her efforts have made North Carolina one of the most affordable places in the United States to do business.
From Humble Beginnings
Elaine Marshall was born in rural Lineboro, Maryland in 1945. Her father was a farmer who served as a volunteer fire fighter and community leader, while her mother was the organist in the family’s small rural church for more than 60 years.
Elaine earned her law degree from Campbell University in 1981 and distinguished herself as a tough advocate for her clients in the courtroom, where she represented women who were victims of domestic violence. In 1993-1994, Elaine served in the North Carolina Senate, where she was named Rookie of the Year and listed among Legislators to Watch by the News & Observer. In the Senate, she provided a powerful voice for improving healthcare in North Carolina.
An Advocate for All
Elaine remembers, “When I grew up I witnessed instances of inequity and discrimination in my community, directed at men, women, children, and families who would have little chance of realizing their dreams.
“So as a lawyer, I stood up for people without a voice. As a member of the North Carolina Senate, I got needed healthcare services, especially for our state’s rural areas. And as Secretary of State, I have made protecting consumers and creating jobs my top priorities.”
Elaine is a member of the Divine Street United Methodist Church in Dunn. She has five step-children and seven grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys ACC football and basketball, cooking, and gardening.