SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Board of Commissioners elected Monday a new chairman and vice chairman for the next 12 months. The organization of the board takes place each December.
Butch Lawter of Clayton was appointed as chairman by a unanimous vote. “This is a great honor that comes with a lot of responsibility. Fortunately, I have a great team to work with. I look forward to serving the citizens of Johnston County. Chairman Lawter is currently serving his first term as a county commissioner.
In a split vote, Patrick Harris of Smithfield was appointed as vice chairman. Harris was nominated for the position by Commissioner Larry Wood. Commissioner Ted Godwin nominated Tony Braswell for vice chair.
Harris was selected in a 5-to-2 vote with Harris, Fred Smith, Butch Lawter, Larry Wood and Dickie Braswell supporting the nomination. Harris is also serving his first term as county commissioner.
After the vote, Commissioner Braswell said, “I congratulate Commissioner Harris. I ask the people not to read anything into this. We as commissioners,. we have an election and that’s it. And so congratulations. If I can help in the future I will be glad to. Thank you Commissioner Godwin for nominating me. Don’t read anything else into this.”
Vice Chairman Harris said, “We all work together as a team so that’s really what matters at the end of the day… I will kick the chairman under the table if I need to. I appreciate the opportunity.”
Chad Stewart was the previous board chairman. He stepped down from the board on November 30th.