GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Michael Logan officially joined the Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday.

With former District 3 Rep. Bill Goebel stepping down amid a dispute over a new law dictating how seats must be filled, the Guilford County school board swore in the Guilford County GOP’s nominee, former teacher Michael Logan. The room erupted in applause following his oath.

Anita Sharpe, a former member of the Guilford County Board of Education, administered Logan’s oath of office.

“Michael will give his heart and soul for this system as some of us have done for a number of years,” Sharpe said.

Logan was sworn in on his family Bible.

The Democrat-majority board and the Guilford County Republican Party have been at odds since the board refused to approve Logan to succeed former board member Pat Tillman following his resignation. House Bill 88, passed with the intention of clarifying the process, instead created a loophole that the board exploited to seat Goebel, another Republican from District 3.

Shortly after, the North Carolina General Assembly again modified the language surrounding appointments to the Guilford County school board with Senate Bill 9. The law, passed in June, aimed to unseat Goebel by shortening his term and codify beyond any doubt the Guilford County GOP’s power to choose his replacement.

According to the new law, if a member was appointed by the board as opposed to being elected, and if “a nominee of a political party was certified as elected to fill that seat at the time of the last election for that seat, whether by countywide election or from an electoral district,” the law states that then the district must “consult with the county executive committee of the political party whose nominee was certified as elected to fill that seat.” The party can then provide the name of their proposed replacement, who, if qualified in accordance with state law, will take the oath of office at the next board meeting.

Goebel, in his letter of resignation, wrote in part that his “lawful appointment to the Guilford County School Board has been the subject of litigation, dubious legislation, and unprecedented invective directed at me, the Board, and its staff and attorneys. I am certain that the legislature has overstepped its legal authority in shortening my term in office, and I am able and willing to litigate the matter.”

Then he went on to say that continuing litigation would “further distract the Board, the staff and the public from the important job of educating our children,” and that he’d rather voters pick the occupant of the District 3 seat, not a judge in Wake County.

“Therefore, I am hereby tendering my resignation of the District 3 seat, effective immediately. I wish my successor and the Board the best of luck in the important work that lies ahead.”

Goebel plans to run again.


After Tillman resigned from his seat representing District 3 following his election to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the Guilford County Republican Party nominated Logan to replace him. The board took advantage of its power to vote against appointing the nominee, leading to four votes rejecting Logan before the General Assembly intervened.

Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford) filed House Bill 88 to clean up language in the statute covering this process, seeking to force the board to seat the party’s nominee. However, using a loophole in the new law, the board instead seated Goebel, another Republican from the district.

The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 9 in June. The new law aims to unseat Goebel by shortening his term and allowing the Guilford County GOP to nominate his replacement. The party again selected Logan on Aug. 30.

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Goebel’s attorney Charles Winfree, in a letter submitted to the Guilford County School Board and copied to the chairman of the Guilford County GOP, argued that SB 9 does not in itself unseat Goebel and, if it it did, it would be unconstitutional.

Logan and two Republican school board members have filed a lawsuit claiming the board violated state open meetings law when it seated Goebel. That trial is currently in the discovery phase.

The Guilford County Board of Education voted to hire the law firm Poyner Spruill to help navigate the legal waters at the recommendation of Board Attorney Jill Wilson, during a Sept. 11 specially convened meeting. Wilson described Poyner Spruill as “probably the most experienced and well-respected election law firm in the state.”