Late last year, Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch did something that no other Guilford County commissioner has done in this century.
He changed political parties after being elected to a seat on the board.
In the case of Upchurch, after running and being elected as a Democrat, he announced – after exactly one year in office – that he was changing his registration to Republican.
Some conservatives in the county were delighted by Upchurch’s change of heart. However, at the Board of Commissioners Thursday, Jan. 20 virtual meeting, one Democratic speaker from the floor, James Adams, gave Upchurch a piece of his mind.
Adams couldn’t speak at the beginning of the meeting with other speakers from the floor because of technical issues with his internet connection – however, halfway through the meeting, the board gave Adams his allotted three minutes of time.
Adams noted Upchurch’s radical transformation and added, “I feel he used us and our community to move to the board. I think it’s a disservice to us as Democrats.”
As is common during speakers from the floor – a time when people can talk about anything they choose – the commissioners, including Upchurch, sat quietly and did not respond.
Adams accused Upchurch of a bait and switch political move and said that those who wanted to advance Democratic initiatives in the county were unjustly deprived after they cast their vote for a Democrat and got a Republican instead with a completely different set of values.
“When you present something different after you get there, it’s a problem,” Adams said.
In December when Upchurch made the move, he released a public statement regarding his decision. It read, in part: “In my role as a County Commissioner. I have repeatedly witnessed those in the Democratic Party vote to waste taxpayer money – sometimes on items they didn’t clearly understand. A clear example is when the board approved up to $1.8 Million for a COVID ‘call center’ that proved ineffective and had no oversight. I have, and always will, vote against wasteful spending. The Democrats’ carefree spending goes against my promise to be honest, transparent, and responsible with my constituents’ hard-earned money.”
While many Republicans viewed that as a young man getting wiser, liberal critics, including many on social media who commented, certainly saw things differently.
As it pertains to Board of Commissioners decisions, the move hasn’t brought about a different set of outcomes since the Democrats still hold a 6-to-3 majority on the board, and also because, even when Upchurch was a registered Democrat, he often voted with the Republicans.
Just remember,Upchurch,common sense will be punished,integrity will be ridiculed in that governing,decaying body.
Get over it!!! He’s allowed to change his mind. Don’t vote for him again!! That’ll show him.
I wonder if James Adams is as passionate about how wrong it is for mediocre male athletes to suddenly claim they are a girl??
In any event, small minded woke Adams did nothing more than make a fool of himself.
These people wouldn’t be complaining if it was the other way around.
Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever party, our elected officials are supposed to be responsible with the way they spend taxpayer money. No matter which way they lean, their actions and decisions are supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States and be beneficial to all taxpayers. Upchurch has obviously woken up and freed himself from the stigma of being called a Democrat, along with the expectations that he was supposed to go along with wasteful spending, authoritarianism, and a general hatred of America and everything it stands for.
Kudos to him!
Is Mr Adams kin to Alma Adams ? First thought that came to mind . I fully support Commisoner Upchurch … anyone who leads public elected officials that say “ shut up and get in line “ as was told to Commissioner Upchurch … remember , if u you know history ? “ I was following orders “ …. Nuremberg War Trials , if you don’t …. I want someone who has the guts to say , I don’t agree and the folks that elected me I don’t think they do either .. that’s a true representative ..
If Upchurch’s party change was a disservice to the democrats, it was a wise move on his part and a good thing for all of us. Why is Adam’s so upset that a man would get a little smarter and try to mend his ways?
When your party moves the goalposts you can sit quietly and acquiesce to radical new actions or you can move back towards the original goal
Agree. I left the Republican party 5 years ago for that very reason.
Funny you said that. Trump wasn’t in office 5 years ago he’s the reason you said you left the Republicans to become a socialist-liberal
He won the primary 5 years ago. Math must not be your thing Will?
Funnier thing about math chris President Trump did not officially win the primary until May of that year so you do the math
Check your math chris. The primary winner wasn’t announced until May. I think you’re really a President Trump supporter
If he really ever was a Republican, he was one of these Mitt Romney/Mitch McConnell/John McCain types. No matter what letter he was registered as, I’d bet good money that he definitely never was a conservative.
These days, there’s not much difference between Republicans and Democrats. The difference lies in whether one is a conservative or a socialist/communist.
Funny you mention long time senior leaders from the Republican party. But you, the modern Conservatives whose only platform is to support anything the fat orange guy feels is important at the moment.
Sheep following the orange Shephard Trump. Go bah bah bah somewhere else with the inherent blind sheeo.
I can see Mr. Adams’ point. Mr. Upchurch ran as a Democrat, and was elected as one. I think what Mr. Upchurch did was unfair to his constituents, perhaps a betrayal.
Mr. Upchurch could remain as a Democrat, and vote with the Republicans on these issues. Just as two Democrat Senators in the Senate will vote with the Republicans on the cloture issue.
Since Mr. Upchurch’s vote did not matter, he could vote as he pleased with no consequence. That’s the way it works in the Congress in Washington. When your side has a definite majority or minority, the party leaders will allow a few representatives to pander to their constituents (at a price, of course), against the party line.
Doesn’t anyone know how this stuff works?
This goes to show you how many people show up to their voting places, and vote for the little letter beside the name. It’s insanity. Do your research, follow the issues, and keep track of what your local officials are doing. We can’t ask for people to be authentic, and stand by their principles, and then be mad when that means that you change your party affiliation. Or maybe it means you caucus different. Either way, what’s important is knowing where our leaders stand, and that when things get crazy (like endless mask mandates, and the Petty-King Skip) they make a change and bring it out into the open. That’s what honesty and transparency is, even if Dems don’t like it.
While I’m glad this fella “finally saw the light” he has lost the respect of those who worked and voted for him, and many of the rest of us who aren’t Democrats are wary of anyone who flip flops so it will take a while to gain our trust.