History made, misery felt in 2018

Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. was brought to tears during his swearing in ceremony on Monday, Dec. 3. Kimbrough is the first African-American elected to serve as sheriff of Forsyth County.

History made, misery felt in 2018
December 27
09:42 2018

2018 was a whirlwind year full of historic events.

The Triad witnessed two hurricanes, starting Aug. 31, and an early winter storm firsthand. While deaths were recorded in other parts of North Carolina, the Triad mostly experienced some flooding with Hurricane Florence and flooding and power outages with Hurricane Michael, and power outages with the early winter storm. Also, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students received early Christmas presents when complications from the hurricanes and storm kept them out of school for more than a week total.

Primary and general elections brought surprises.

There were primaries in May for school board and county races. In the school board primary, a male incumbent was defeated in that GOP primary in District 2 and two black women were elected in the Democratic primary after two black incumbents decided not to run in District 1. A black man won the Democratic primary for sheriff, and a black incumbent was defeated in the primary for the District A County Commissioner seat. A black woman won. The other black incumbent, who had been appointed to the seat, won the right to move to the General Election.

In the meantime, Democratic N.C. Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. resigned from his seat in the state legislature and asked that Derwin Montgomery, the East Ward representative on the Winston-Salem City Council, replace him.  Gov. Roy Cooper named Montgomery as the replacement, and he was sworn in. Then, Montgomery, who is part owner of The Chronicle, had to run in the General Election against a Republican for the seat, and he won.

On Nov. 26, Annette Scippio was sworn in as member of City Council and representative for the East Ward. She was selected in October by fellow Democrats in the East Ward to replace Derwin Montgomery.

History was made in the General Election in Forsyth County on Nov. 6 when the following people were elected:

*Democrat Bobby Kimbrough became Forsyth County’s first black sheriff when he defeated longtime GOP Sheriff William T. “Bill” Schatzman.

*Tonya McDaniel was elected to represent District A on the Board of Commissioners. She is the third black woman on the board. She had won the seat, becoming the top vote-getter in the District A Democratic primary. Incumbent Democrat Everette Witherspoon lost his seat in the primary. Fleming El-Amin, who had been appointed to take the late Walter Marshall’s seat, also was elected. There were no Republican challengers in the General Election.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education made history when only women were elected to the board, and black women were elected the chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the board. Malishai “Shai” Woodbury is chairwoman and Barbara Hanes Burke is vice chairwoman.

The City of Winston-Salem presented five bond initiatives to the people for their vote and all five passed.

However, Forsyth County asked voters for a one-quarter cent sales tax, which was soundly defeated.

Republican U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx won re-election over North Ward Winston-Salem City Council Member DD Adams. Republican N.C. House of Representatives District 75 Rep. Donny C. Lambeth won re-election over Southwest Ward Winston-Salem City Council Member Dan Besse. Both council members say they will try again for elective office.

The Republican-super majority in the N.C. legislature was at work again, and this time turning their efforts to thwart Gov. Roy Cooper’s power and suppress the vote of North Carolinians to forming constitutional amendments that would go to voters. Four of the six amendments on the ballot passed, including mandating IDs be presented when voting in person at the polls in North Carolina. The General Assembly had to put those constitutional amendments in writing. Cooper vetoed the voter ID law, which was overridden, and soon was challenged in court, including a lawsuit filed by the state NAACP branch.

Former Forsyth County Commissioner Beaufort O. Bailey died Feb. 22. He was a commissioner for eight years before being defeated by fellow Democrat Everette Witherspoon by only 95 votes in 2010.

Edward Van McCrae was fatally shot by Winston-Salem Police Officer D.E. McGuire in March. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill in September announced that McGuire acted lawfully in self-defense. An attorney for McCrae’s family said they disagree and plan to seek civil remedies.

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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