Mar 7, 2023 - News

Wake County Republican strikes election bill deal with Democrats

Illustration of donkey and elephant legs high-fiving.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Two more seats would be added to Wake County's Board of Commissioners under legislation proposed by Holly Springs Rep. Erin Paré, she said in a release Monday.

  • The legislation, which could easily become law, would also mean seven commissioners would be elected by district, and the remaining two would be elected at-large, bringing the total number of seats to nine.

Why it matters: The change will bring the Wake County Board of Commissioners in line with other commissioner boards in some of the state's largest counties.

Driving the news: Paré, a Republican, will amend a bill she proposed in February after reaching a compromise with the all-Democratic Wake County Board of Commissioners.

  • She originally sought to make all county commissioner races nonpartisan and by district. Under the compromise, races will remain partisan.

Details: County commissioners are currently elected at-large to represent Wake's seven districts.

  • The legislation is classified as a local bill and can't be vetoed by the governor.

What they're saying: "When 55% of the electorate resides in Raleigh and Cary, the more rural communities in Wake do not have the accountability they deserve in their elected officials, and that’s wrong," Paré said in a statement.

Catch up quick: The bill, filed by Paré last month, sparked outrage among Wake County Democrats, who called the move a "partisan tactic" to "assert local control."


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