GOP official tapped to be new commissioner

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Members of the Alamance County Republican Party Executive Committee turned to one of their own Thursday night (Jan. 21) as their selection to be the next county commissioner.  They tapped Craig Turner, who serves as the local party’s first vice chairman, to be the new commissioner.

The committee held a special meeting online Thursday evening to select Galey’s successor in which 39 of its 44 members ultimately took part.  Turner won on the first ballot, winning 22 of 39 votes, cast by secret ballot, among those party officials who voted during a meeting conducted over the Zoom teleconferencing platform.

A native of Alamance County who did a turn in the U.S. Navy before he dove into law school, Turner had told The Alamance News after last year’s election that his local roots would be one of the advantages he would bring to the board of commissioners if selected to replace Galey.

“I was born and raised in Alamance County, and I’ve lived here all my life except for the time I was on active duty in the Navy,” he told The Alamance News in an interview last November. He served as an F-14 Tomcat Radar Intercept Officer, flying missions over Iraq as part of Operation Southern Watch during his Navy service.

In fact, Turner went to the U.S. Naval Academy, then got his law degree from Elon University.  He also served as an assistant district attorney in Alamance County for about 18 months before going into private practice.

During the special meeting, Turner recalled a training exercise from his days in the Navy in order to illustrate the tenacity that he said he’d bring to the board of commissioners.
“Qualifications are great, but there’s also an element of fight that’s going to be required,” he told the group. “Even if I’m out of ideas, I’m not going to exit the fight.”

Turner, who currently works in private practice in Greensboro with the Fox Rothschild firm, said at the time that he first expressed an interest in being appointed that he has become well acquainted with many of the issues that face the commissioners thanks, in part, to his professional focus on construction law. Turner noted that his experience would be particularly useful as the school system embarks on some high-dollar construction projects that the county will ultimately fund.

Turner also mentioned that the county could benefit from his legal representation of Greensboro police officers who’ve been involved in civil lawsuits.  Turner will become the second attorney on the five-member board, joining board chairman John Paisley, who is an attorney in Graham.

On the development front, Turner said he’d like to see the county retain its “hometown feel” as it remains attractive to business and industry.

Turner also told the newspaper that, if selected, he would bring a “fresh perspective” to the board.

Turner is expected to be sworn in February 1 to replace Amy Scott Galey, the former county commissioner who was elevated to the N.C. state senate in last year’s elections.  At 47, Turner will become the youngest member of the board.

Alamance County voters selected three new Republicans last November to begin terms on the board.  Turner has not previously held public office, but he told the committee he would plan to seek election when two seats for the board are up in 2022.

“If the members of the executive committee nominate me for this position, I will run in 2022,” he said before the vote, “and I like my chances.”

During Thursday night’s meeting, Craig Turner was one of four candidates who competed for this appointment after being nominated by one of the executive committee’s members during the meeting.

The other three would-be appointees were Robert Turner, a co-owner of ACE Speedway, Paul Williams, a retired EMT for Alamance County; and Michael Trollinger, a member of Green Level’s town council. Two other potential contenders – Henry Vines and Blake Williams – were unable to obtain nominations from anyone on the committee and were therefore ineligible for consideration.

The breakdown of the committee’s vote is as follows:

Craig Turner: 22

Robert Turner: 11

Michael Trollinger: 5

Paul Williams: 1

The nominations were made as follows: Craig Turner by Fred Galey; Robert Turner by T.L. Mann; Michael Trollinger by Shelly Recker; and Paul Williams by Tommy Coble.