Until Tuesday, Dec. 22, it wasn’t known how long newly elected District 4 County Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy would have to wait on the sidelines before serving.

However, when her Republican opponent, two-term Commissioner Alan Branson, announced on Tuesday that he would no longer pursue an election challenge, no one was happier to hear that than Murphy.

Soon after Branson made his announcement, and the path was cleared for her swearing-in, Murphy, who won the race against Branson by 72 votes, posted a statement on Facebook.

“Over 43,000 voters let their voices be heard in deciding who would serve as their next District 4 Guilford County Commissioner,” Murphy posted. “This year’s Election was unprecedented not just for voters accessing the polls during a pandemic, but also for our poll workers, volunteers, and election officials who dedicated countless hours to ensure every vote was counted.”

Then she referenced the dispute with Branson.

“Although it took longer than expected for me to be officially recognized as District 4 Guilford County Commissioner, we saw democracy in action, and democracy did prevail.”

Murphy added that, throughout the process, the Guilford County Board of Elections followed the guidance of the NC State Board of Elections. The elections boards also, she added, followed “election procedures that have been analyzed and thoroughly vetted by both state and federal courts in North Carolina.”

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston – who very often butted heads with Branson on the board – said this week that he was eager to go ahead and get Murphy sworn in as soon as possible.

The happy new commissioner-elect concluded her message by expressing her appreciation for the work of the election officials.

“I am grateful for the tireless effort of the Guilford County Board of Elections and the North Carolina State Board of Elections to administer this historic Election with the utmost integrity and transparency. I am looking forward to serving all District 4 constituents and moving forward together.”