Guilford County is losing one of its most colorful and most conservative commissioners.
Republican County Commissioner Alan Branson, who has represented the largely rural District 4 for the past eight years, has ceased pursuing options that might let him hold onto the seat longer after coming up 72 votes short in the November 3 election.
Though Branson ended up with less votes, until Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 22, he had kept fighting by filing challenges with the local and the state elections boards. He had the option of continuing the battle in Superior Court, however, now Branson has made it known that he will not do so – clearing the way for his Democratic opponent Mary Beth Murphy to take her seat.
“It has been my honor to serve as your Guilford County Commissioner serving District 4,” he wrote in a statement sent to local reporters and some others. “Given the time constraints and burden of pursuing a stay in the Wake County Superior Court, I find it time to concede.”
“I would like to express my concerns during the 2020 Election Process,” he added. “Most of you know we had a large presence of absentee mail-in ballots during the election due to the COVID Pandemic. ln my opinion this is definitely an opportunity for some to cheat. Our current Local and State Board of Elections are a Democratic Majority due to having a Democratic Governor. Our state’s court system is basically the same, therefore I find that it is not in my best interest to continue this fight for the Guilford County District 4 Commissioner’s Seat.”
Branson also wrote that, though this particular political fight is over, he’s still weighing his options for moving forward with his political career. He stated that he would continue to fight for conservative values and for the conservative citizens of Guilford County and those throughout the state.
The commissioner – soon to be former commissioner – also explained why he considers the election results suspect. He said that there were 43,382 votes cast in the District 4 race and noted the very thin margin and pointed out that he received 21,655 votes, which comes to 49.92 percent.
“I won 18 of the 22 precincts in District 4 and I won during the Early Voting process,” he wrote. “I only lost during the Mail-ln Absentee Ballots. lt is amazing that we received that many votes in our district. I do feel that we need to have Photo lD to be shown when voting.”
Branson ended on a positive note,
“Thank you again for allowing me to serve as the District 4 Guilford County Commissioner for the last 8 years,” he wrote. “It has been a true honor and privilege. May God’s Blessings be with you and your family during this Christmas Season.”
“I also wish my opponent and the new board members the best and pray that they make the best decisions for the citizens of Guilford County,” he concluded.
He signed the letter with his full name – Jerry Alan Branson – and wrote beneath it the descriptor, “Lifelong Resident and Taxpaying Citizen of Guilford County.”