11/24/2018 7:41:00 AM Historic Swearing In Will Precede Council Meeting
Mary Frances White
(Lincoln Herald Staff Photo)
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
Truth is, we can't prove it: but we've been told by what we believe are reliable sources multiple times over the last several years that until this November, Lincoln County had the distinction (some might say shame) of being the only one of North Carolina's 100 counties in which no person of color had ever been elected to any office--city or county.
We checked with the state Board of Elections, and they couldn't verify it--but they also said they couldn't say it wasn't so. Records of elections for the last few decades are fairly easy to find--but going further back, about the only way to check on the race of those elected would be to go to specific counties and pore over their records of elections--no easy task!
Whether we are the last or not, Lincoln County has now elected an African-American to a city post. Mary Frances White, on her third try for office, was elected as the Ward 1 City Council member on November 6th. She will be taking the oath of office along with Mayor Ed Hatley, re-elected without opposition; Marty Eaddy, re-elected to represent Ward 3; and Jim Watson, chosen to fill out two years of an unexpired term representing Ward 2. [Watson will be certified as the winner at a meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Elections on Monday. He could not be certified until the protest by Fred Jarrett had been decided. Jarrett chose not to appeal the local board's decision not to pursue his protest to the state board.]
Before the City Council meeting that Thursday, the new members of the Lincoln County Commissioners will be sworn in on Monday December 3rd. The 6:30 meeting of Commissioners will begin in the auditorium of the James W. Warren Citizens Center. After the new members are sworn in, the Commissioners will select their new chair and vice-chair. Then, following a reception in the lobby of the auditorium, they'll move to the Commissioners' meeting room on the third floor.
Bill Beam will be sworn in as Sheriff--but that has to wait until after the new Commissioners are sworn and the Commissioners accept bonding the new Sheriff. Beam's deputies will be sworn in the auditorium after the Commissioners move to their meeting room.
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