Landslide interest in succeeding Dockham

Sam Watford expresses interest
Jun. 03, 2013 @ 12:55 PM

Republicans from Davidson County already are expressing interest in succeeding state Rep. Jerry Dockham, R-Davidson, as he prepares to leave office in a month to take a post with the N.C. Utilities Commission.

Dockham, who has served in the state House since 1990, was nominated earlier this spring by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to the commission that oversees utilities operating in North Carolina. Dockham’s 80th State House District seat will be filled by the executive committee of the Davidson County Republican Party.

Dockham is scheduled to join the Utilities Commission July 1, pending the approval of his nomination by his fellow state legislators.

So far eight Republicans have expressed interest in the 80th State House District seat, said Lance Barrett, chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party. The successor to Dockham will serve through the November 2014 general election in the heavily Republican-leaning district.

Barrett is keeping the names of people who have expressed interest confidential until after Dockham’s departure is official.

But The High Point Enterprise has learned the names of some candidates who have expressed interest.

Sam Watford, a member of Davidson County Board of Commissioners and former board chairman, said he’d like to serve in the post.

“I live in the center of the district. And I’ve had an interest in serving in the General Assembly,” Watford told the Enterprise. “I feel like I do a good job as a county commissioner. But I feel like I could help the citizens in the General Assembly.”

Watford unsuccessfully ran for the 33rd State Senate District last year, losing in the GOP primary to longtime Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson.

Dick Johnson, who has run for the 80th State House District twice against Dockham in the GOP primary, said that he’d be interested in an appointment to the post.

The executive committee of the Davidson County GOP will meet in early July to discuss filling the vacancy, Barrett said. The executive committee, made up of 15 voting members, is composed of Republicans appointed by their fellow county GOP members to the leadership body.

“I predict, when the vacancy actually happens at the beginning of July and we put our announcement out, we’ll pick up a few others in addition to the ones that have shown interest,” Barrett said.

Barrett expects that the executive committee will name a replacement for Dockham within a month of him leaving for the Utilities Commission.

“It’s going to happen quick. We’ll start making our decision before mid-July, more than likely,” Barrett said. | 888-3528