According to the NC Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), roughly one-fifth of all county commissioners in the state’s100 counties will be new commissioners when the new batch is sworn in later this year.
According to the association – which provides support, advocacy and guidance for counties across the state – there were 308 county commissioner seats up for election this year, and, based on the unofficial and incomplete results from the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election, 20 percent of all commissioners in the state will be new.
Roughly one-third of the commissioner seats that were up for grabs in 2020 were decided before the Tuesday, Nov. 3 general election. In those cases – such as the case of Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston, who ran to keep his District 8 seat this year – the matter was decided in the primary since there was no opposition in the general election.
The numbers from the association are based on the unofficial and incomplete results from last week’s election. In most cases, the winners will be certified by county boards of elections across the state later this week.
The number of brand new county commissioners this year – right at 20 percent – is identical to what the state saw in the last presidential election year of 2016.
This year, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners will see either two or three new commissioners out of its nine members. Democrats James Upchurch and Carly Cooke will be new and, in the District 4 race, incumbent Republican Commissioner Alan Branson finished 18 votes short of political newcomer Mary Beth Murphy, a Democrat, but there are still about 200 outstanding votes to be counted in that race.
The NCACC also notes that voter turnout in the general election exceeded 74 percent in North Carolina. That number easily beat out the 69 percent voter turnout seen across the state four years ago – the last time voters chose a president.