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Wake County Democrats Nominate Webb To Fill Malone's Seat

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RALEIGH, N .C. — Harold Webb was nominated Saturday by Wake County Democrats to complete the remaining two years of Vernon Malone's term as a Wake County Commissioner.

Former Wake County Sheriff John Baker finished a distant second in the balloting, and the outcome signaled an end to a dispute between the Democrats and the 5-1 Republican majority on the board.

Chairman Herb Council had threatened not to accept Baker and call for a special election that would cost taxpayers about $160,000.

Malone left the board to serve in the state Senate and officially relinquished the seat when he was sworn in as Senator last Wednesday. Baker seemed poised to fill Malone's seat after losing the sheriff's election to challenger Donnie Harrison.

Saturday's numbers indicated that Democrats clearly felt Webb was the right choice to replace Malone.

The 77-year old Webb, Malone's former campaign manager and former state personnel director, Webb received 303 votes, compared to 130 for Baker.

Also receiving votes were retired educator Doris Burke, who got 58 votes, and retired financial analyst Joseph Sansom, who got 54.

Webb is expected to be sworn into office Monday at the county board meeting.

When the tally was announced Saturday, Webb went to the podium. Baker reportedly stood up, shook Webb's hand and walked out of the meeting room at the Wake Commons Building.

Baker had said he jumped into the race at the urging of supporters and had dismissed Council's suggestions that he would clash with Harrison if he joined the county board.

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