04/28/04 — Gray files for Flowers' county board seat

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Gray files for Flowers' county board seat

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 28, 2004 2:10 PM

A firefighter provided the only spark Tuesday at the Wayne County Board of Elections.

Roland "Bud" Gray, the long-time chief of the New Hope Volunteer Fire Department, was the only person to file for office Tuesday in Wayne County. The filing period opened Monday and will close at noon Friday, May 7.

Gray is running as a Democrat in District 5 of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. The seat is now held by Arnold Flowers, a Republican who has said he won't seek re-election. No other candidates have yet announced.

Bud Gray


In a statement, Gray said that he would work as a commissioner to raise the pay of deputies to match other sheriff offices in the state.

"They make a tremendous sacrifice and put their lives on the line every day for our protection," Gray said. "For this, I believe they should be justly compensated."

He is also committed to supporting Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, he said. "The base has brought economic growth, stability and diversity to Wayne County and I will work to keep the base here."

He noted that he and his children attended Wayne County public schools, and he now has grandchildren attending. As a commissioner, he would work to improve relations between the commissioners, school board and the Goldsboro City Council, he said.

He also pledged to assist the county's fire departments and the emergency medical services system. EMS has proven to be a necessity, he said.

He concluded by saying that he would work to keep taxes at a minimum.

Gray is a lifelong resident of the New Hope community, where he farms, producing tobacco, corn, cotton, soybeans and swine.

He was a charter member of the New Hope Volunteer Fire Department and has been an active member since 1956. He's been chief since 1969. From 1984-85, he was president to the Wayne County Fireman's Association.

He has also served on the board of directors of Adamsville Church of God.

He is married to the former Joanne Edwards. They have two sons, both of whom are involved in the family farming business, and four grandchildren.