The new Republican majority on the Wake County Board of Commissioners has just elected former Raleigh major Paul Coble as the panel's new chair and board newcomer Phil Matthews as vice chair.
Coble won the seat based on a vote made possible by this fall's election of Garner businessman Matthews to the spot formerly held by Democrat Lindy Barnes.
Coble is joined in the Republic majority by outgoing chairman Tony Gurley, former chair Joe Bryan and Matthews. Democrats on the panel are Betty Lou Ward, Stan Norwalk and James West.
Norwalk nominated Ward to the chairman's position, and she nominated him for vice chair, but both candidates fell in the Republican tide.
The elections came at the start of what has been predicted to be a long and contentious meeting, with items on county funding of elective abortions, on school integration and union representation of public employees on the agenda.