GOP to select new commissioner at virtual meeting next week

County’s 45 top party officials will decide on Jan. 21

The stage has been set for the leadership of Alamance County’s Republican Party to meet later this month to choose a successor to former county commissioner Amy Scott Galey, who has left the county’s governing board to take her place in North Carolina’s state senate.

The executive committee of Alamance County’s GOP is scheduled to convene this special meeting on January 21 at 7:00 p.m. – at which point the group’s members will select someone from a list of nine candidates to fill out the two years that remain in Galey’s unexpired term on the board of commissioners.

It is nevertheless strictly in a figurative sense that the party’s top brass have prepared the “stage” for this upcoming meeting.

According to Ben York, the chairman of Alamance County’s Republican Party, the executive committee won’t physically assemble to conduct this vote on January 21 in light of the lingering risk of coronavirus.

“We’re going to do it virtually,” the party’s chairman explained. “The state GOP has someone from that office who will run that part of it…It’s very easy to do, and we’ll take some practice votes beforehand.”

York added that, in many other respects, the executive committee will follow the same protocol that it has used in the past to replace Republican office holders who leave their posts before they serve out their terms.

Under state law, the responsibility for filling a partisan office that becomes vacant lies with the leadership of which ever party the previous office holder had espoused when they were elected. In the case of Galey’s old seat on the board of commissioners, the selection will be open to all 45 of the executive committee’s members, who include party officers, elected officials in partisan positions, and Republican candidates from November’s general election.

As with previous vacancies, the committee’s members will choose Galey’s replacement from a list of would-be successors who have previously submitted their names to York. In order to be contention on January 21, each candidate must be formally nominated by an executive committee member during the virtual meeting. York said that the committee will forgo any nominating speeches that evening, although each nominee will have an opportunity to address the group before the vote takes place.

York said that the executive committee’s members will make their selections using an electronic balloting process that the North Carolina GOP pioneered at its convention in 2020. York added that, in the event that no candidate wins a majority of the votes on the first ballot, the committee will hold a runoff between the top two vote getters from the first round.

York said that the people who’ve expressed interest in the position include local attorney Craig Turner, who currently serves as the local party’s first vice chairman;

Craig Turner

Green Level councilman Michael Trollinger;

Green Level town councilman Michael Trollinger

and Henry Vines, a farmer from Snow Camp and a veteran of several commissioner races who defected from the Democratic Party last year.

Henry Vines, a former Democrat who lost that party’s primary in March to more liberal competitors, has since become a registered Republican and is now seeking the appointment to Alamance County’s board of commissioners.

Other contenders for the impending vacancy are retired brigadier general Blake Williams, who also serves as the vice chairman of ACC’s trustees;

Blake Williams, a member of the community college board of trustees, was an unsuccessful Republican candidate in the 2020 GOP primary.

Burlington planning board member James Kirkpatrick;

Burlington planning board member James Kirkpatrick was the fourth place finisher in the March primary for three available slots for the November general election.

long-time Republican Roger Parker, who briefly served on the board of commissioners after the party tapped him for another vacant position in 2016;

Roger Parker previously served an appointed term on the board of county commissioners.

Robert Turner, the co-owner of ACE Speedway in Altamahaw;

Robert Turner during a May 2019 appearance before the board of commissioners on which he now hopes to serve.

Paul Williams, a retired Alamance County EMT;

and Chuck Marsh with Maverick Radio.

Chuck Marsh

Read the newspaper’s more detailed earlier coverage of the potential commissioner candidates:

Candidates for GOP commissioner appointment begin to line up (Nov. 26, 2020 edition):

Speedway’s co-owner enters race for soon-to-be vacant commissioner’s seat (Dec. 3, 2020 edition):

Longtime paramedic rushes into the contest to replace outgoing county commissioner (Dec. 10, 2020 edition):