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Transition on the New Hanover County Commission

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was transition time for the New Hanover County Commission tonight. Two newcomers were sworn in, and there was a change in leadership.

Jason Thompson, who lost his seat when he finished fourth in May's Republican primary, began his farewekk speech by reading a Dr. Seuss poem.

"Don't cry because it's over," he read, "smile because it happened."

It was a tearful goodbye for the outgoing commissioner at Monday night's New Hanover County Commission meeting, but it was a happy occasion for the newcomers.

In her speech, Republican Beth Dawson highlighted her pride in being just the seventh woman elected to the commission.

"I am quite excited to be among a long line of strong women to join the long line of public servants," Dawson said.

Republican Woody White focused on the commission moving forward, including collaborating better with city leaders.

"We're going to sit down with a clear and concise agenda on forging ahead," White said.

Following the ceremony, commissioners voted for new leadership, which went to the newcomers. Dawson nominated White for chair and White nominated Dawson for vice chair. Both motions passed unanimously.

Dawson says the two may be new, but they are ready to lead.

"Quite frankly, both Woody and I have been active in public service and on public-trust boards for many, many years," Dawson said.

The meeting was also the last for Commissioner Rick Catlin. He resigned after winning election to the North Carolina House of Representatives last month.

With Catlin gone, the board is once again looking for a new member.

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