DOBSON — On the last day of the filing session, another race has developed for a seat on the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
Longtime public servant and Air Force veteran Don Holder Sr., 81, has thrown his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent R.F. “Buck” Golding for the central district seat on the board.
Holder, a Democrat, said he is running primarily because a contested race is representative of the democratic form of government.
“During the last election, there were people running without an opponent and I don’t think that’s right,” he said Friday afternoon. “Everyone needs an opponent. I’m running to give people a choice. After watching how Washington is torn up and how bad the Republicans have torn up the state, and the county is now run by Republicans, I think it’s time to change that if we can.”
Like many candidates this year, Holder said he supports economic development efforts in the community.
“I don’t have any particular issues, and am for what everyone else supports: Jobs and economic development in the county,” he said. “But by and large the county seems to be headed in the right direction.”
Holder served 22 years in the Air Force and serves on the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport Authority. He previously served on the Northwest Piedmont Council of Government.
Golding, who served one term on the board in the 1990s and was elected once again in 2010, said he expects a clean race and welcomes the challenge.
“I’ve always had a challenger when I ran for office,” he said. “That’s America and what the system is all about.”
He said he is proud of the work the board has done during his tenure, and looks forward to another term.
“This board has gone through some hard times economically, but we have been very conservative in our budgeting process,” he said. “We’ve been able to make our fund balance improve somewhat, but not as much as I’d like. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and of each one of my votes.”
The incumbent said he is looking forward to a congenial race.
“I welcome Mr. Holder into the race,” he said. “I know him and have known him all my life, so we’ll be very friendly about this, and there will be no mud-slinging on my part and I don’t expect it from him.”
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.