Things got pretty chilly in winter when, in late 2021, Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch suddenly changed parties from Democrat to Republican and blasted Chairman of the Guilford County Commissioners Skip Alston’s leadership of the board in the process.
That was the last time the two men spoke in person until Friday, April 22, when Upchurch called Alston and the two had their first conversation since last year.
What prompted Upchurch to call the commissioner he has been feuding with for months? The devil made him do it.
Upchurch was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners on the Democratic ticket in 202. However, one year after taking the seat he did something no other county commissioner has ever done as far as anyone can remember. Upchurch announced that he was now a Republican. Upchurch, who frequently voted against Alston’s initiatives even before he was a Republican, said that the the Democratic commissioners outlandish unnecessary spending drove him out of the party
In late January, when Alston spoke at a Boom Supersonic announcement at Piedmont Triad International Airport, Upchurch said he though perhaps Alston would not even call his name when Alston was acknowledging the various county commissioners seated in the audience.
But last week, after a pleasant county commissioners meeting in High Point, Upchurch called up Alston and the two spoke. The reason for the call was that Upchurch was dismayed to find out that there was an after school satanic club in a county elementary school.
Alston, who was clearly infuriated late last year after Upchurch jumped parties, has always maintained that the change didn’t really matter because the Board of Commissioners still maintained a solid Democratic majority even without Upchurch.
Alston told the Rhino Times in February that, even though lines of communication between the two commissioners were frayed, he, Alston, always carried out his duties as chairman when it came to keeping Upchurch updated on Board of Commissioner business matters.