It’s been a long time coming but, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, brand new Guilford County Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy will be sworn in and will officially take the place of Republican Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson – who fought for nearly two months to hold onto the District 4 seat on the nine-member board that runs the county.

Murphy, a Democrat, won that race against Branson by a 72-vote margin in the November election.  However, Branson contested some mail-in and provisional ballots.

Just before Christmas, Branson abandoned his challenge, which cleared the way for Murphy to take her seat.  She’ll now be sworn into office at 11 a.m. on the morning of the eve of New Year’s Eve in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House.

While the Board of Commissioners isn’t holding an official meeting to swear Murphy in, there’s a likelihood that at least five commissioners will attend the short ceremony, which is why the county sent out a legally required public notice of the swearing-in ceremony.

That announcement of the ceremony came with a notification that the public cannot attend the ceremony due to pandemic related safety concerns and the state’s Stay-At- Home Orders.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, a Democrat, said that he was very eager to get Murphy sworn in, and he added that it would have deprived Murphy of more of her rightful time on the board if her swearing-in had been put on hold until the Board of Commissioners next meeting in January.

Three other commissioners who were victorious in the Tuesday Nov. 2 election were sworn in in at a ceremonial board meeting on Monday morning, Dec. 3.