Pate wins for GOP in county's District 5, will face Gray
By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 9, 2012 1:46 PM
Bill Pate of Goldsboro handily won the Republican nomination Tuesday to challenge Democratic incumbent Bud Gray for the District 5 seat on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners in November.
Pate finished with 1,205 votes, or 80.87 percent, compared to 285 votes or 19.13 percent for Jeff Jennings of Pikeville.
The totals are unofficial until the May 15 canvass.
Pate, 55, the retired manager of the Wayne County Employment Security Commission/Joblink Career Center, was watching the returns at the GOP headquarters in downtown Goldsboro.
"I am very pleased with the outcome, but I think the real challenge will be in the fall," he said. "I look forward to running a clean campaign with Bud.
"I think it is a good thing that I got out and started campaigning like I did and got my name out there and met the people. It got me moving a lot earlier than I thought I would have and I think it will be good for my campaign in the fall."
Pate said he had told people that if elected he would be an active and engaged commissioner and one from whom they could expect "independent thought."
"I still think we need to rethink several things about allowing the public to speak (at board meetings)," he said. "I still think the 7 o'clock (evening) meetings are a good idea. If I hadn't been retired I would have been able to go to those (commissioners') meetings.
"Then of course, we have got to prioritize how we are going to spend our dollars. We are not going to be getting a lot of money from the federal government anymore. ... There are always good causes to spend money on. But we have to figure out we are going to spend money on today and what we can put off to tomorrow."