North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Committee Member Brandon Gray will be the next District 6 representative on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

He’ll take the place of former County Commissioner James Upchurch, who ran for the seat as a Democrat and then, one year after taking office, changed his affiliation to Republican.

On Monday, Oct 2., Upchurch announced he was stepping down from the seat he was elected to in 2020 in order to take a lucrative job in another state.

On Thursday morning, Oct. 5, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, for the first time, officially endorsed a candidate to serve on the board.  He told the Rhino Times that he was fully supporting and officially endorsing Brandon Gray as the candidate best qualified to bring the needed skills and experience to fill the currently empty seat.

Alston said that he’d gotten to know Gray in recent years and added that he was extremely impressed with Gray’s work in the local Democratic Party and his efforts to promote social justice in the community.

The Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee has scheduled a meeting for Monday, Oct. 16 to fill Upchurch’s unexpired term. That 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held via Zoom.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold a regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 19 and Alston said that, if Gray is given the stamp of approval at the Oct. 16 meeting, there will be no need to delay.

“I would seat Brandon at the meeting on the 19th,” Alston said.

While other candidates have expressed interest in the job and there may be some debate over the seat during the Zoom meeting, Alston is far and away the most powerful Democratic leader in Guilford County and his endorsement  in this race is as good as solid gold.

Gray has been a very active member of the party and has held leadership roles in the local Democratic Party.

Alston told the Rhino Times that Gray had already spoken to him earlier this year and let him know that he was planning to run for the District 6 seat when it came open next year.