Ceremonies were held on Monday at the Johnston County Courthouse for nine county officials who won election on November 8th.
The Oath of Office Ceremonies were held in the Historic Superior Courtroom before Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Lock. Judge Lock welcomed those in attendance. He said the officials being sworn in today were seeking their offices for all the right reasons. “You will have our prayers and support.”
Reverend Dade Sherman gave the invocation and the Smithfield Selma High School NJROTC presented the Colors and Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem was sung by Johnston County Deputy Eddie Digh.
Clerk of Court Michelle Ball recognized special guests who were in attendance.
County Commissioner Jeff Carver of Clayton was the first to receive his oath, which was administered by Judge Lock. Carver was joined by his wife, Boo, and son, Clay, for the event. Carver thanks his fellow commissioners and fellow winners of the November elections. He also thanked those who re-elected him to office for his fifth term.
Next, County Commissioner Ted Godwin of Selma received his oath from Judge Lock. Godwin was joined by his wife.
Godwin said he was appreciative of the confidence voters had shown in him by re-electing him to a second four-year term. He pledged not to compromise his integrity and promised to always do what was best for the citizens of Johnston County.
Newly elected County Commissioner Larry Wood of Four Oaks received his Oath of Office by District Court Judge Caron Stewart. Wood, joined by his wife, thanks his family, friends, and the public who believed in him. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Keith Branch, a former member of the Johnston County Board of Education, was sworn in as a County Commissioner representing District 6 by Clerk of Court Michelle Ball. Branch thanked former County Commissioner Tony Braswell, who he replaces on the board of commissioners, for his service. Calling it an “honor and a privilege” Branch said he could not take Braswell’s place but he would fill his position. He said citizens would always come first and that he had no hidden agenda. “If its black, its black. If its white, its white. If its gray in an area always favor the taxpayer.”
Board of Education
Two incumbents and two newly elected officials received their Oaths of Office for the Johnston County Board of Education.
Mike Wooten of Princeton said after his oath from Clerk of Court Michelle Ball that he was truly blessed to serve on the school board. He said it was an honor to serve as a member of the Board of Education. Wooten said the decisions we make – if we always look at how it will effect children – we will make the right decision. The biggest challenge he said was dealing with the rapid growth of the county and the increase in school students. Wooten thanked citizens, parents, and teachers for their support. Wooten returns for his third term.
Dr. Peggy Smith from the Cleveland community received her oath from Representative James H. Langdon Jr. Smith won re-election to her third term. “To God be the glory,” she exclaimed after her oath.
Smith thanks her husband of 51 years for his support and the five people who made financial contributions to her campaign. “Without the voters this day would not be possible,” Dr. Smith said. “Thank you for the opportunity to serve students, parents and the citizens of Johnston County.” She also thanks county commissioners for a good working relationship.
Newly elected school board member Teresa Grant was joined by her sister, daughter and three grandchildren for her oath of office administered by District Court Judge O. Henry Willis.
Grant said it was an honor and privilege to represent the students, citizens, parents and administrators. Grant thanked her sister for flying in from Houston, Texas to be with her for the oath. She promised to work to make children in county schools life-ready and job-ready when they graduate.
Ronald Johnson, a Smithfield police detective, was the top vote-getter in the November school board race. He received his oath from Clerk of Court Ball. Johnson’s wife held the Bible for his oath.
Johnson thanked his family for their support. Johnson said he was recently reminded that winning is one thing but governing is another. Johnson said he was not taking office thinking he knows everything there is to know, but promised to make the right decisions, decisions that are the best for the children.
Soil and Water Conservation
Charles Hill received his oath of office from Clerk of Court Ball.
Rev. Sherman gave the closing benediction before the formal ceremony was adjourned by Judge Lock.