Cherie Berry, the ‘elevator lady,’ won’t seek re-election

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Cherie Berry was sworn in as North Carolina’s first female labor commissioner on Jan. 6, 2001. (Photo: NC Department of Labor)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s “elevator lady” is punching the last buttons on her career as state labor commissioner next year.

Republican Commissioner Cherie Berry announced Tuesday she would not seek re-election in 2020, or 20 years after she was first elected to the job. Her colleagues on the Council of State — comprised of Gov. Roy Cooper and other statewide elected leaders — gave her a standing ovation following her announcement at the council’s monthly meeting.

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Berry brought wide recognition to her otherwise little-known post by putting her photo on inspection certificates inside 28,000 elevators statewide. With it came the nickname “elevator lady” or “elevator queen.” It led to a Twitter parody account and even a song.

Berry believes her picture has helped children feel safe entering elevators.