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Wake County Politics: Holmes to lead commissioners for 2nd year; new vice chair named

The Wake County Board of Commissioners sworn in on Dec. 3, 2018. Back, from left to right, Sig Hutchinson, Susan Evans, Matt Calabria and Vickie Adamson. Front, from left to right, Greg Ford, Jessica Holmes and James West.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners sworn in on Dec. 3, 2018. Back, from left to right, Sig Hutchinson, Susan Evans, Matt Calabria and Vickie Adamson. Front, from left to right, Greg Ford, Jessica Holmes and James West.

County Commissioner Jessica Holmes will lead the the Wake County Board of Commissioners for another year.

The board elected Greg Ford as vice chair. Commissioner Sig Hutchinson had previously served in the position.

Holmes joined the commissioners in 2014 during a Democratic sweep on the county board. After winning re-election in 2016, she abruptly resigned but then said an outpouring of support convinced her to stay. She was elected chair a year later.

She touched on that progression after her fellow commissioners selected her again Monday night.

“I have become a stronger person and a better leader,” she said. “And I can’t wait to use all I have learned to continue the work we are doing.”

Ford, first elected in 2016, has been a strong ally of Holmes and Commissioner James West. The three occasionally have found themselves on the losing side of issues, like the controversial purchase of the former Crooked Creek Golf Course for a proposed park in the southern portion of the county.

Holmes and Ford were also the lone votes against a budget that didn’t give the Wake County Public School System everything it said it needed. All the Democrats who voted for the budget faced a Democratic challenger during the most recent primary. Vickie Adamson, in District 7 in the western part of the county, and Susan Evans, in District 4 in the central part of the county, both beat incumbents in the Democratic primary and Republican challengers in this fall’s general election.

All seven of the commissioners were sworn in during Monday’s meeting.

The chair of the board is paid $27,686 per year, while other commissioners receive $23,607.

This is an occasional column about Raleigh and Wake County politics. Email me at ajohnson@newsobserver.com. And follow me on Twitter at @anna_m_johnson. I often live tweet city and county meetings using #ralpol for Raleigh and #wakepol for Wake County.

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