On the morning of Thursday, September 26, Alamance County Commissioner Tim Sutton announced at a meeting of the county's Capital Oversight Committee in Graham, in front of members of the leadership of Alamance-Burlington School System and Alamance Community College, that he will not be seeking re-election on the 2020 ballot.
“I’m going to do everybody a favor. I’m going to help out by not running. It’s official. I’m not ashamed of it. You can print it all day long. I’m out of here,” Sutton said in front of the local educational and county leaders.
Sutton was first elected to the Alamance County Commissioners back in 1994, and served two decades on the elected board before being ousted in the Republican primary in 2014 by fellow County Commissioners Bill Lashley and Dan Ingle.
Lashley was subsequently beaten in the 2014 general election by Democrat Bob Byrd, but both Lashley and Sutton regained their seats on the board of County Commissioners during the 2016 election. In all, Sutton will have served the people of Alamance County for a total of 24 years on the County Commissioners by the time his final term comes to a conclusion next year.
Sutton’s decision opens up a seat on the elected board that already figured to have intense competition for three available spots. Along with Sutton’s now-open seat, incumbents Eddie Boswell and Bill Lashley are both up for re-election. Neither have announced plans for 2020 one way or the other. Lashley and Sutton are both known as staunch fiscal conservatives, while Boswell has served as more of a moderate, having been elected to the County Commissioners as both a Democrat and a Republican.
Although Sutton has dealt with various controversies from time to time, he is well-liked and appreciated among his base in Alamance County for his fiscal conservatism, along with his “tell it like it is” style.
Whether one voted for him or not, the departure of Sutton from the local political scene will unquestionably be the end of an era in Alamance County.