El-Amin to fill Commissioner Marshall’s seat
Photo by Todd Luck
BY TODD LUCK
The Forsyth County Democratic Party (FCDP) executive committee voted for Fleming El-Amin to become the next county commissioner.
El-Amin was chosen to fill the District A seat left open by Walter Marshall’s death. The vote was decided mostly by precinct chairs and vice chairs in District A who went overwhelmingly for him during a meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at FCDP headquarters.
El-Amin is a retired educator and former local party chair. Until recently, he served on the Forsyth County Board of Elections (BOE). He put in his resignation to the board last month in preparation for running in 2018 to succeed Marshall, who wasn’t planning to seek re-election before his sudden death on Feb. 22. His nomination will now go to the county commissioners for approval.
He will have to run for re-election in 2018.
There were several other people vying for the seat. They were Kimberly Park Elementary Principal Amber Baker, Northwest Child Development Centers CEO Tony Burton, business owner Jeremy Holderfield and Donald Scales, who unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2014. All gave three-minute speeches to the standing room only crowd that filled the headquarters.
During his remarks, El-Amin asked if District A, which is a largely minority district that includes most of Winston-Salem, was getting its fair share of county money. He also touted his decades of involvement in the party as a “community servant leader.”
“If you’ve been in this party, you have an idea of who I am and what I represent,” he said.
El-Amin said he plans to continue Marshall’s work on things like equality, poverty, education and the environment. He said he hopes to build a coalition with other commissioners to get things done.
In his acceptance speech, he encouraged people to come to county commissioner meetings, which are usually lightly attended.
“You’ve got to stay active in your democracy,” said El-Amin.
FCDP Chair Eric Ellison encouraged the other candidates to run for office. Burton has already declared he’ll be running for District A in 2018.
Also during the meeting, the Democrats picked Susan Campbell and Robert Durrah to fill the seat that El-Amin vacated on the BOE. The names will be sent to the state party chair and ultimately the governor, who will appoint one to the seat, which will probably be Campbell, who is the Democrats’ first pick. She will need to be reappointed again to serve on the board’s new term in July. Currently there’s a conflict in court over whether BOEs should abide by a new law that evenly splits the board between Democrats and Republicans or if they’ll remain three-person boards with the governor’s party in the majority. Regardless, there will be two democrats on the local board.