ROCKINGHAM — Democratic leaders on Tuesday nominated former county commissioner Peggy Covington to take Jimmy Maske’s seat on the Richmond County Board of Commissioners.
Maske served on the board for 36 years and stepped down May 31 due to declining health. His term expires this year.
The Richmond County Democratic Party’s executive committee made the nomination during their Tuesday night meeting at the county’s judicial center.
Covington served as a county commissioner from 2008 -12 and was fourth among five Democratic candidates in the 2012 primary election. Another county commissioner hopeful, Herb Long, was the only other person nominated during the Democratic meeting.
Svea Strong spoke on behalf of Long after nominating him, saying, “Mr. Long has not served as a commissioner before. She’s had a four- year term. People have seen her operate. I know Mr. Long is a businessperson. He’s operated in a position of authority. It would be nice to be able to see him operate on the county commissioners over the next four months before the election.”
Covington’s experience on the board likely helped garner her more votes than Long.
“She’s well-qualified,” J.C. Watkins said. “She’s served already, and she’ll make a good commissioner.”
Now that Democrats have put Covington’s name forward, county commissioners have 60 days from Maske’s resignation to vote on the matter. Don Bryant, the sole commissioner present, said the board would vote at its upcoming monthly meeting in July.
“That’s our candidate, but it’s not a guarantee,” said Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Lee Quick.
State law requires commissioners to appoint someone from the same party of the resigned board member. If commissioners can’t agree on an appointment, county Clerk of Superior Court Vickie Daniel may then select the replacement.
If appointed, Covington said she’d get up to speed on the current issues facing the county board.
“I would have to familiarize myself with current projects that are going on and see how that fits into the objectives the county has espoused in their own political platform,” she said. “If there are any other issues that can be worked on in a short time, I’ll bring those to the board. I’ll do what I can to help that process along. I appreciate the Democrats for having confidence in me.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-997-3111, ext. 18.