There are a lot of consequences flowing from District 4 Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson’s decision to contest the election results.

Those results saw his Democratic opponent – Mary Beth Murphy – win by 72 votes in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election.

One of those is that Murphy will not get sworn in on Monday morning, Dec. 7, and another likely consequence is that Commissioner Skip Alston won’t get a unanimous vote in his quest to become chairman of the Board of Commissioners that day.

If tensions on the board aren’t too strained when December rolls around each year, the entire board of nine members often vote in favor of the chair – even if he or she is a member of the opposing party. Alston, who is expected to be elected chairman of the board Monday morning, may have had that honor if Murphy were on the board. Murphy, a Democrat like Alston, was expected to vote in support of Alston.

However, Branson – one of Alston’s staunchest opponents on the board – said this week that he would not be voting for Alston to be chairman – and he added that one reason he wants to stay on the board is to be a voice against all of the ill-conceived moves Alston will make as chairman.

“I am going to be a thorn in his side,” Branson said.

Branson said there is no question that the Democrats on the board would vote to make Alston chairman and he added that he believes Alston could have had a good shot at winning that seat unanimously if not for his, Branson’s, extended stay.

Alston said this week that he was going to ask Branson for his support, however, Alston acknowledged that that may be a shot in the dark.