Guilford Commissioner Skip Alston not seeking re-election

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Melvin "Skip" Alston, chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, will not seek re-election after 20 years of service.

Alston, a commissioner since 1992, made the announcement on Monday. He has been chair of the board of commissioners since 2002 and was the first black chair in the board's history.

Alston said he is considering running for either a state or national office but did not go into specifics. Alston said he believes he has the name recognition to run for a bigger office.

"I have looked at several other different positions, but those positions are not available on a state level and congressional level and a senate level at this moment. But time is going to come when those positions will be available, and I have to wait my time in order to do it," Alston said.

Alston said he made the decision with his family about a year ago, and he also told some commissioners that.

"They didn't believe me, of course, but a lot of my friends and my close political allies, they know that this was no surprise to them," Alston said.

Also on Monday, commissioner Billy Yow, Alston's usual foe, officially filed to run for Congress. Yow will go up against Howard Coble, who announced his intentions to run again.

"He's done a good job. This is a whole new district, and he's got to learn it just like I have to learn it. He's got a lot of ground to cover just like I have a lot of ground to cover," Yow said.

"I think Billy should be respectful and not push Howard out, but at the same time that's his call. But I think he's making a mistake running against a legend," Alston said.

Alston and Yow will remain on the board through December.