07/26/11 — Democrats pick nominee for commissioner's seat

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Democrats pick nominee for commissioner's seat

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 26, 2011 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County Democrats chose lawyer Ken Thompson, of Wallace, as a nominee to replace David Fussell on the county's Board of Commissioners Monday night.

The unanimous 84-person vote came just a few weeks after Fussell resigned for health reasons. If the other commissioners accept the Democrats' nomination, Thompson will serve Fussell's remaining term, which ends in December 2012.

Reginald Kenan, vice chairman of Duplin's Board of Education, nominated Thompson before the rest of the executive committee, calling Thompson a staunch Democrat with "great ideas."

"He's a very ambitious young man, and he's very interested in his county," Kenan said. "He wants to see it grow. He wants to bring some new ideas and do what's fiscally best for this county."

Thompson was absent from the meeting because his wife had a baby early Monday morning.

Dr. Mott Blair, chairman of Duplin's Democratic Party, said he thought the executive committee chose Thompson because it wanted a younger representative to bring new ideas to the county.

"I think Ken Thompson kind of represents that person," Blair said. "He's got a vested interest in Duplin County for his family."

Ray Garriss, a semi-retired management consultant from Wallace, also nominated himself to be recommended for the position. Committee members grilled him on his 14-year stint in the county's Republican Party before casting their unanimous vote.

Some said they supported Thompson because he was "a good Democrat with a track record."

Frances Parks, chairman of Duplin's commissioners, said she was pleased with the nomination, and that she and the other commissioners would take a vote at their next meeting on Aug. 1.