Bud Gray defeats Starling
By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 5, 2008 1:46 PM
Commissioner Roland "Bud" Gray, a Goldsboro Democrat, turned back Republican challenger Willie Ray Starling of Mount Olive in Tuesday's voting for the District 5 seat on the county board of commissioners.
In unofficial results, Gray captured 4,159 votes (52.87 percent) to 3,708 (47.13 percent) for Starling.
Gray, who currently serves as board chairman, said he was not surprised at the outcome of the local races. He said he was surprised at the presidential races, especially in North Carolina.
"I look forward to working with the new board," he said.
He said commissioners have worked to make the county a "great place to live, work, play and attend school."
Gray said that he was pleased it had been a positive campaign.
Gray thanked his family, friends, fellow firefighters and church family for their support.
"I am disappointed," Starling said. "You can't win them all."
Starling said he was surprised by the overall election.
"Yeah, I can't believe it," he said. "The Democrats turned out, the Republicans didn't. There just wasn't as much enthusiasm out of the Republican Party as there was out of the Democrats."
Starling congratulated Gray on the win.
"He is a good man," Starling said. "He is just too quiet. We need someone who asks questions and challenges things the county is doing. We are spending too much, and we need to look at programs."
If those programs are not meeting their goals and the reasons they were established, then they should be revamped or eliminated, he said.
Asked what was next for him, Starling said he would work on an old store building he is restoring and would catch up on the "honey-do" list that has built up.
Asked if he would run again, Starling said, "No, I'm done. Five times is enough."
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