Wake GOP recommends Gianni to fill vacant commissioners seat

mquillin@newsobserver.comMarch 18, 2014 

— Wake County Republicans have recommended Rich Gianni to fill the vacancy on the Board of Commissioners created when Tony Gurley resigned last month to focus on a new job with the state.

Gianni already had filed to run for Gurley’s seat in the fall election. Gurley no longer lives in the third district since it was redrawn and was not eligible to seek reelection.

Gianni is chief financial officer for Ziptronix, a Raleigh semiconductor company, who says his budget and cash management experience would help him guide the county’s use of tax money. Gianni lives in Cary with his wife and youngest child.

Phil Matthews, chairman of the board, said the group will take up the recommendation at its next meeting, April 7. If the board approves the recommendation, Gianni could be sworn in and seated during that meeting, Matthews said, and, “We could put him right to work.”

If the board doesn’t approve the recommendation, the Wake County Republican Party executive committee would be asked to suggest someone else. If that person were not to win the board’s approval, the board could call for a special election to fill the seat.

Matthews said he doesn’t anticipate any controversy over Gianni’s selection. Traditionally, such appointments are made on the Wake board without argument from the opposing party.

Commissioner James West, a Democrat, was appointed in September 2010 to finish the term of Harold Webb, who had resigned following a stroke. Democrat Stan Norwalk, who served on the board for three years before resigning because of poor health, was replaced by Erv Portman in 2011.

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