Several area politicians began the new year last week by taking oaths for office.
Among those sworn in to office were newly elected District 1 County Commissioner Ron Thigpen; District 4 Commissioner Lee Anderson; commission Chairman Ron Cross; the county's first at-large elected school board chairman, Regina Buccafusco; District 2 School Board member Mildred Blackburn; Superior Court Judge Jim Blanchard Jr. and Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale.
The county commissioners and judges were sworn in by Probate Court Judge Pat Hardaway minutes before Tuesday night's commission meeting. For Thigpen, it was his first time to take the oath as a county commissioner.
Thigpen, a Republican banker, fills the seat vacated by Steve Brown. In November, Mr. Thigpen defeated Scott Nichols, Columbia County's Democratic Party chairman, keeping the commission all Republican, as it has been for many years.
Thigpen ran on a campaign of fiscal and political experience, promising to keep intact the county's financial standing. He said during Tuesday night's commission meeting that he looks forward to serving in his new role, one that will include him heading up the county's Management and Financial Services Committee. Thigpen also will continue on through Dec. 31 as a member of the county's development authority.
Wheale and Blanchard, both Columbia County residents, were re-elected in November and chose to take their oaths in their home counties. Newly elected Superior Court Judge David Roper, also a Columbia County resident, held his swearing-in ceremony earlier Tuesday at the Richmond County Courthouse.
The paperwork for judges is mailed to their home county, Wheale explained, but in a multicounty circuit the judges can choose to hold such ceremonies in any of the counties.
Because Hardaway was suffering from laryngitis, Wheale and Blanchard each recited their own oaths under Hardaway's guidance.
Wednesday morning, pronouncing that she felt better, Hardaway recited the oaths of office for Buccafusco and Blackburn at the School Board's first meeting of the year.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.