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Catlin's election to NC House leaves vacant seat on county commission

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will soon see a whirlwind of change. As two new commissioners wait to be sworn in, another is leaving, which means another seat is up for grabs.

Two new faces will soon join the board of commissioners. On Tuesday Republicans Woody White and Beth Dawson were elected to the board, along with Jonathan Barfield, who was reelected.

However, that's not the only change to the board. Commissioner Rick Catlin will be headed to Raleigh next year as the new NC House District 19 Representative, which will leave his seat on the board left to fill until his term is up in 2014.

WWAY asked Commissioner Jason Thompson who is set to leave the board at the end of the year, if he would be interested in taking Catlin's seat and be a commissioner for a few more years.

“Depends on if somebody wanted me to have it,” Thompson says. “This is not something you get to choose if you want it or not. You have to be asked to take it and go through a process. It's like running for election all over again.”

The vacant seat means the New Hanover County Republican party will once again have to recommend someone to the board, which commissioners are not obligated to accept. That was made clear with the party's last recommendation, Melissa Gott.

Catlin says he wants the changeover to be seamless and will most likely stay until the board's first December meeting.

When asked about his outlook for the future board, Commissioner Barfield said he's confident everyone will work well together and will make sure that whoever fills Catlin's seat will be a cohesive fit with other board members.

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