A lot of strange things have happened in Guilford County government this century, but one of the strangest happened to Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch this week when Upchurch received his box of county government business cards.

The cards offer his contact information and identify him as a Guilford County commissioner.

Many people from all walks of life order similar cards for their profession all the time with nothing remarkable happening.

First, a little background.  Upchurch ran for a seat on the board as a Democrat and won as a Democrat, however, in December of 2021, Upchurch broke from the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party.

When he made that jump, he stated that seeing the senseless massive spending of the Democrats was one of the reasons he left the party.  He also had some very harsh public words for Democratic Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston.

Alston had some choice public words of his own for the young Republican in a press release that Alston sent out soon after Upchurch’s remarks.

Ever since, the two have been adversaries on the board and have hardly spoken.

Which is where the business cards come in.

Upchurch got a new box of business cards, and, when he opened the box of 500 and checked them, he discovered something bizarre – every so often strewn throughout his cards were the cards of Skip Alston.  About every 15th or 20th card was a Skip Alston card, with Alston’s name and contact info on it.

No other commissioners reported having Skip Alston cards in with their county business cards. Commissioner Frankie Jones, for instance, said all of his cards were cards with his own name on them.

Some conspiracy theorists would note that, if this were a random mix-up, isn’t it unlikely that the cards in Upchurch’s box would be with the one commissioner he’s at odds with.

“How does that even happen?” Upchurch asked when speaking about the cards after a Thursday, June 2 meeting. “I asked Robin [Clerk to the Board of Commissioners Robin Keller] and she said she didn’t know.”

Upchurch removed the Alston cards and they were returned to Chairman Alston.

When Alston was asked if he knew how it had happened, he said he did not.

Alston examined the cards quizzically, and said, “They don’t say ‘Chairman,’ on them.  If I had done this, the cards would have said ‘Chairman.’”