Stanly County GOP committee to meet to nominate, appoint school board member

Published 11:50 am Monday, October 11, 2021

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The Stanly County Republican Party Executive Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Republican headquarters at Burleson Square to consider a vote upon and possibly appoint an individual to fill a vacancy left by Jeff Chance on the Stanly County Schools Board of Education.

The meeting is open to any registered Republican in the county, though only executive committee members will be allowed to vote.

According to North Carolina General Statues § 115C-37.1, vacancies in offices of county boards elected on partisan basis in certain counties can be filled by the vacated member’s political party. This occurs in 25 other counties, including Iredell and Cleveland.

Stanly County Republican Party Chairman Matthew Swain said while this is the first time he’s aware of that the party’s executive committee will appoint a new school board member following a vacancy, there has been precedent with another elected position. In 2007, the GOP executive committee appointed Kenny Furr to represent District 67 in the N.C. General Assembly following the resignation of David Almond.

Swain, who has been chairman since March, said he’s heard of around seven people that have had their names brought up, but realistically he is expecting around five names to be discussed during the meeting. He would not share any of the names because they have not been officially nominated and could withdraw.

“This is a very fluid process,” he said. “We’re looking to move as quickly as possible to make sure there’s not a vacancy left on the board.”

Swain said the meeting could go one of two ways. The executive committee, which consists of 27 members, will nominate and then vote to confirm the candidate to replace Chance, which is the most likely option, or it will recess the meeting to a later date after the nominees have been announced.

The committee has 30 days after the vacancy occurred to decide upon a replacement.

Chance, who was school board chairman, resigned following last Tuesday’s meeting, during which he said his life had been threatened over the mask policy introduced by the board in August. In an interview with The Stanly News & Press, he said he had been mulling the decision to step down for many months but the last few meetings, which have been tense and featured many maskless angry parents voicing their disapproval, prompted him to step down.

“Over the last few months, the issues at hand have affected my health, family and even my business negatively,” Chance said in an email. “[Tuesday] night’s meeting brought things into perspective, prompting me to step down.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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