GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County Democrats met to put forward their pick to fill a now-vacant county commissioner seat this week.

Brandon Gray
Brandon Gray

On Monday, the party held a meeting over Zoom during which they put forth the name of their nominee to take over the recently vacated District 6 seat on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

The Democrat’s choice, Brandon Gray, ran for District 62 of the House of Representatives in the 2022 election but lost to John Faircloth (R-District 62). Gray’s campaign website describes him as a Guilford County native and business owner.

“Brandon is working to create a Guilford County that welcomes and supports all people,” the site reads.

The decision on whether Gray will replace departing Commissioner James Upchurch will be made by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners have a work session scheduled for Oct. 19 with their next regular meeting taking place on Nov. 2.

Upchurch resigns

Upchurch vacated his seat on the Board of Commissioners on Oct. 2 with a little over a year left in his term after announcing that he had received an opportunity in another state.

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“It has been an honor to represent my hometown as their County Commissioner and be a part of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. When I ran for office, I made a commitment to make our county more transparent, support our schools, establish a livable wage for our county employees and create an environment that supported High Point,” he said in a news release.

Upchurch was nominated and elected in 2020 as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican party in December of 2021, stating at the time that “it is clear to me that my values do not align with the actions of the Democratic Party.”

Despite occupying the seat as a Republican, the Guilford County commissioners stated that “according to County Attorney Andrea Leslie-Fite, Commissioner Upchurch was elected as a nominee of the Democratic party; therefore, per G.S. 153A-27.1, the county executive committee of the Democratic party will be consulted for and have 30 days to tender a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.”