McDowell GOP names Brenda Vaughn as new commissioner

The McDowell County Republican Party’s Executive Committee has selected Brenda Vaughn to replace Matthew Crawford on the County Commission.

The McDowell County Republican Party’s Executive Committee has selected Brenda Vaughn to replace Matthew Crawford on the County Commission.

On Saturday, the local GOP’s Executive Committee held a special meeting and chose Vaughn through the balloting process as the newest commissioner. Crawford recently announced he was resigning, effective Friday of last week, to accept a new job in Elkin.

“It is an honor to have been chosen by the McDowell County Republican Party Executive Committee to serve out the remainder of Matthew Crawford's elected term,” she said in a prepared statement for The McDowell News. “I am honored to step into his seat, he served this county with his whole heart and I plan to follow his lead and serve this county with the same dedication that he did.”

Vaughn, 62, of Bethel Church Road in Marion retired in August 2016 after working for 16 years with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office. When Vaughn retired, she was the McDowell County jail administrator.

She’s also been active with the local Republican Party. Vaughn has been the party’s secretary since 2012 and she ran unsuccessfully for McDowell Register of Deeds in 2012 as well.

The McDowell County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a special meeting at noon Wednesday at the County Administration Building where they will vote on formally accepting Vaughn as a new board member. If she is accepted, she will be sworn in at that meeting. She said to The McDowell News she will make an official statement at that time.

“Again, I am excited at the challenge of serving on the commission board,” she said in her prepared statement. “I plan to prayerfully fulfill the duties if I am accepted and sworn.”

Vaughn will be the first woman to serve as a commissioner since Annie Lee Epley.

But it is still unclear what happens next. Crawford’s name will still appear on the ballot for the May primaries and the early voting period starts Thursday. If Crawford wins, the local GOP’s Executive Committee will notify the Board of Elections as to whose name should appear on the November ballot as the third candidate for the County Commission, according to Elections Director Kim Welborn.

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