Local Politics

Wake commissioners tilt to GOP

Posted November 3, 2010

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— Republican candidates won all four seats on the Wake County Board of Commissioners that were on Tuesday's ballot, putting the divided board into GOP hands.

Democrats have held a 4-3 majority on the board in recent years, but Tuesday's results flip that split in favor of Republicans.

Incumbent Republican commissioners Joe Bryan, Tony Gurley and Paul Coble easily won re-election, while Republican challenger Phil Matthews knocked off Democratic Commissioner Lindy Brown.

“I am happy. I am excited and have appreciated all the support people have given us,” Bryan said.

What will the shift mean for the county? 

Betty Lou Ward, a Democrat on the board, remembers when Republicans took control in the 1990s.

“Our board stayed in Republican domination for several years. It wasn’t always easy,” Ward said.

Ward thinks members of the two parties can work together. She does not expect any massive changes.

Ward said the conservative leadership have their work cut out for them.

“By virtue of the fact we have so many budget problems, it is going to be interesting to see how some other group deals with them,” Ward said.

School Board Chair Ron Margiotta says the Republican swing is proof voters support the direction of the district. A move from diversity based school assignments to neighborhood based assignments.

“Certainly supportive of what the school board has been doing,” Margiotta said.

Wake commissioners tilt to GOP Wake commissioners tilt to GOP

Bryan thinks that was just one of many issues on voter's minds.

“To govern all the Wake County’s issues, not just the school board,” he said.

Ward does not see the connection.

“Stuff that was thrown out about our board and the school board, that’s kind of silly really,” she said.

Other counties see Republican shift

Three Democratic commissioners in Chatham County lost their re-election bids, putting Republicans in control with a 3-2 margin. Democrats lost three of four commissioner races in Lee County, moving that board to a 4-3 Republican majority.

In other local races in the Triangle, Democrat Calvin Woodard won a hotly contested race for sheriff in Wilson County by almost a 2-1 margin.

Woodard, an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation and a former Wilson County deputy, defeated longtime Sheriff Wayne Gay in the Democratic primary, prompting an independent run by John Farmer, a major in the Wilson County Sheriff's Office.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill, Orange County Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass and Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell all easily won re-election.

Local-option sales taxes were soundly defeated in Harnett and Person counties, and voters in Orange County also appeared to have rejected a proposal to add a quarter-cent to the local sales tax rate to pay for growth-related needs.

Durham voters approved a $20 million bond issue to repair about 150 miles of city-maintained streets.

A statewide referendum to amend the North Carolina Constitution and prohibit convicted felons from serving as county sheriffs also easily passed.

23 Comments

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  • chevybelair57sd Nov 4, 2010

    maybe now they will tend to business and let the school board do their job instead of doing Meekers dirty work

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Nov 3, 2010

    "You have James West who took Harold Webbs place on the board and he is a DEM."

    Yes he is. He's also no longer in the majority. He and Stan will be bored for the next 2 years.

  • ratherbnwpb Nov 3, 2010

    This is the best news of the night. Way to go GOP controlled board. With Lindy Brown and Harold Webb gone the new majority board can work on getting Mr. Norwalk to exit as well and then really get some things accomplished.
    Waiting for my Tax Increase

    You have James West who took Harold Webbs place on the board and he is a DEM.

  • ratherbnwpb Nov 3, 2010

    How many of the Wake Commissioners are against "Forced Annexation"? We live in Wake County and Cary wants to annex us in 2011. No one wants to be annexed and have been fighting Cary about this. So, how many of you are against "Forced Annexation" now that we have a GOP board?
    Ladybug

    Wake Co Commissioners have nothing to do with Cary annexations. That is a Cary or Legislature issue

  • Ladybug Nov 3, 2010

    How many of the Wake Commissioners are against "Forced Annexation"? We live in Wake County and Cary wants to annex us in 2011. No one wants to be annexed and have been fighting Cary about this. So, how many of you are against "Forced Annexation" now that we have a GOP board?

  • cops_wife1993 Nov 3, 2010

    Wow, what straight party voting can do... :/

  • EyesintheSkies Nov 3, 2010

    pbjbeach is obviously a product of the NC school system.

  • John Sawtooth Nov 3, 2010

    The Wake Co. commissioners do tend to govern *mostly* from the middle, I expect that to continue. Don't forget the impact of the school system budget in the county's finances.

  • Bendal1 Nov 3, 2010

    superman,

    First you ranted about how Democrats had been running this county, and then you somehow equated them with Pelosi and Obama. Do you think voting straight local GOP ticket somehow "sends a message" to the White House? Some people are really naive and just justifying their decision in a broader way, I guess.

  • dougdeep Nov 3, 2010

    Agree with SouthRaleigh. We're trying to break down the Good Ole Boy network, but that doesn't mean we want you to roll the county back to 1988. A vibrant Raleigh is a good Raleigh.

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