12/01/08 — Two new commissioners take their oaths

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Two new commissioners take their oaths

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 1, 2008 1:46 PM

Sandra McCullen

Steve Keen

Dr. Sandra McCullen of the Sleepy Creek community near Dudley and Steve Keen of Rosewood took the oath of office this morning as the newest members of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

In both cases, the new commissioners are filling seats left vacant by current board members who did not seek re-election.

Mrs. McCullen assumes the at-large seat vacated by Commissioner Atlas Price of Seven Springs.

Keen is the new District 4 commissioner. Efton Sager, who currently holds that seat, did not seek re-election in order to run for the District 11 state House seat. Sager won that race.

Also being sworn in will be incumbents Andy Anderson of Pikeville, who represents District 1; J.D. Evans of Dudley, who represents District 2; John Bell of Goldsboro, who represents District 3; Bud Gray who represents District 5 in the eastern part of the county; and Jack Best of Goldsboro, who represents District 6.

Evans was the only commissioner who faced no opposition in the election.

Keen, a Republican, defeated Democrat Denny Tart in November to earn his seat.

Mrs. McCullen, a Democrat, defeated Hal Keck to become only the second woman to ever serve on the board of commissioners. Betsy Johnson of Fremont was the first woman to serve on the board. She was appointed to fill out the term of Joe Lancaster when he died in 1987. She was elected in her own right in 1988. The swearing-in ceremony was expected to be the first item of business when commissioners met, followed by the election of a new chairman and vice chairman. Gray currently serves as chairman. Price was vice chairman.

The new make-up of the seven-member board leaves the majority in Democratic hands by a 5-2 margin, with Anderson and Keen in the minority.