Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch’s term on the Board of Commissioners doesn’t expire until late 2024, but he said this week that he won’t be running again for a second term as a commissioner.
He said he feels like he’s accomplished what he wanted to for the county.
“Everything I was going to do, I did,” Upchurch said this week.
He said he ran with a slate of items and concerns and said that those have largely been addressed.
He said two things he’d hoped to get done when he ran were get more money to the schools and provide some financial help for the renovation of downtown High Point. Some county residents consider that two areas where previous Board of Commissioners dropped the ball.
“I also wanted to help make Guilford County government more transparent,” he said, adding that this current board had created a Guilford County Public Relations Department and become much more engaged on social media platforms.
There are other changes Upchurch wanted to see as well that have occurred.
“EMT and paramedic salaries were too low,” he said adding that the county had made progress in that regard.
Upchurch says his decision to not run again as a county commissioner is in no way an indication that he’s getting out of politics. In fact, Upchurch obviously has his eyes on higher political office.
Upchurch currently has one notable action that he alone can claim in the history of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. At least in the modern era and as well as anyone can remember, there’s never been another Guilford County commissioner who switched parties after being elected. Upchurch was elected by District 6 voters as a Democrat, but about a year into his four-year term, he shocked a lot of his constituents and others by announcing publicly that he had seen the error of his ways and he was changing his party affiliation to Republican.