Now that the 2022 General Election is over and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is set for another two years, it’s nearly time to select a new chair of the board to serve from December 2022 to December 2023.

The vote for that new board chair won’t be taken until a meeting in early December. However, the outcome of the vote isn’t in doubt. Current Democratic Chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston will be chair for another year.

Alston, the most powerful Democratic political leader in Guilford County, told the Rhino Times this week that he is interested in holding the office again and he hopes he’ll have the votes to be re-elected to that position of leadership.

That means Alston will be the next chair. Since the nine-member board is led by a Democratic majority, and since Alston is the senior leader who always gets his way, the matter of the next chair is now a done deal.

Alston is no stranger to the all-important middle seat on the dais in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro.  The chair of the board only gets one vote – just like the other eight commissioners.  However, the position brings with it greater powers due to the chair’s ability to set the board’s agenda, establish committees of the board and name the members, enjoy a higher public profile and the right to run commissioner meetings.

The chair is sometimes called the “mayor” of the county.

This will be the eighth time Alston has been chair of the board.

He was first sworn in as a county commissioner in 1992 and has served on the board for every year since except for a five-year hiatus from 2012 to 2017.

Over the years, Alston has been a highly controversial figure in county politics – he is a man with many avid fans and supporters and also one who has many detractors who are very critical of the way he’s run the county.