Local News

Controversy Over Hoke County Commissioner's Seat Prompts Boycott Attempt

Posted April 2, 2001 7:00 a.m. EDT

— An empty commissioner seat is causing a stir in Hoke County. The position has been open for two months, but no one can agree on who should fill it. Some say that it boils down to racial discrimination.

Commissioner L.E. McLaughlin died in February, and his position still has not been filled. When it was recommended that Clyde Thomas Jr. be appointed to the seat, two commissioners approved the idea. Two others did not, including Commissioner Charles Daniels.

Some people believe that Thomas is being denied the seat because he is black. An unsigned letter is circulating, which calls on Black and Native Americans to boycott Daniels' two Hoke County gas stations.

However, Daniels is endorsing another candidate for the board -- John McAllister, who is African-American.

County commissioners will vote again on Thomas' appointment on June 16. If the decision is split again, it will then go to the clerk of courts.