KING, N.C. (WGHP) — It has been more than two decades since the City of King has inducted a new mayor.

Rick McCraw, who has been serving as mayor pro tem and ran for mayor unopposed, will take up the mantle from Jack Eugene Warren, who died on July 16 at the age of 81 after an extended illness.

Warren served as a member of the city council starting in 1987 and was elected mayor in 1999, a seat he held for 24 years prior to his death. He did not plan to seek re-election this fall. 

In addition to his role in King City Hall, Warren, a proud U.S. Army veteran, spent time as president of the King Lion’s Club, commander of The American Legion Post 290, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the advisory council for hospice and palliative care.

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In September 2022, Warren was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award given by the governor.

“The City of King will be forever grateful for Mayor Warren’s legacy of hard work, integrity, and perseverance,” the city said in a Facebook post on July 17.

Warren is sometimes referred to, inaccurately, as the state’s longest-serving mayor, but North Carolina has at least one mayor currently serving with more than 40 years under his belt. Jay Bender of Pollocksville, North Carolina, was elected in 1982 and has held the seat for 41 consecutive years. Janet Parrot served as mayor of Stovall, North Carolina, for 42 years before retiring from the role in 2021 and moving into a new role as town administrator.