The 2022 election is a year away, but already the Guilford County Board of Commissioners at-large race looks like it could turn out to be extremely interesting.
Quite a few contenders are expected to compete for the single at-large seat on the board, and sources say two of those who will get into the race are Democratic at-large County Commissioner Kay Cashion and former Republican Commissioner Alan Branson.
Branson said this week that he “will run for something,” in the coming election but he said his mind was not 100 percent made up that it would be for a commissioners seat. Others, however, say that Branson is all but certain that’s the race he’ll end up in.
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he’s convinced Branson will jump into the at-large commissioners race. Alston added that he knew that Branson had already informed Cashion of his intention to do so.
Cashion did not respond to an email from the Rhino Times asking if she intended to run again – however, Alston and other county commissioners said they fully expect Cashion to seek the seat she now occupies on the board. Cashion has served as a commissioner for about two decades.
The nine-member board has eight members elected from districts and one at-large member elected countywide.
Branson, a conservative who lost his long-held District 4 seat by a thin margin to Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy in 2019, said he did have a conversation with Cashion.
“I told her it was nothing personal,” Branson said, adding that he informed Cashion he’s strongly considering running at large.
He said he likes Cashion but he had been eyeing the at-large seat ever since he lost his District 4 seat in a close election.
In a new county commissioner (and school board member) district map adopted by the county last week, Branson’s residence was moved from District 4 to District 2, which includes parts of High Point and is the district seat now occupied by Guilford County Commissioner Alan Perdue – Branson’s friend, fellow Republican and fellow conservative.
Branson said he was disturbed by the way the recent Alston-led redistricting effort removed him, Branson, from his long-time district.
Alston said Branson really doesn’t care that much about the new district map.
“He doesn’t’ care what district he’s in,” Alston said. “He’s running at large.”