Township 5 Seat Revolves as Official Resigns & Then Returns

BAYBORO – Hard-ball intra-party politics reared its head Monday night as four conservative Republicans on the Pamlico County Commission – Doug Brinson, Candy Bohmert, Kari Forrest, and Missy Baskervill – teamed up to oust fellow Republican Ed Riggs Jr. as Chairman of the seven-member board.

Having resigned two months ago, Baskervill managed to get re-instated just hours before casting what many perceived to be a payback vote directed at Riggs.

As part of a grand plan hatched by the Pamlico Republican Party, Baskervill had formally resigned from her Township 5 seat on Oct. 3. The vacancy allowed the local GOP Executive Committee to nominate Sarah Davis for the open seat. Davis is the wife of Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis.

Party insiders envisioned Sarah Davis taking Baskervill’s post, which would make Davis the reigning Township 5 Commissioner, and presumably well-positioned for a looming Republican primary. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. The plan fell apart Nov. 6 when the nomination of Davis failed to receive majority approval by the six remaining County Commissioners.

Instead, a 3 to 3 stalemate came when Riggs joined Democrats Pat Prescott and Carl Ollison in opposing the measure. The three veteran commissioners cited concerns from their constituents that dual, high-ranking posts for the Davis duo should be decided by voters – not by a vote of ensconced officials.

Riggs stance on the issue – which did not comport with the Party directive — infuriated local GOP operatives. And, they went to work.

Baskervill agreed to return to the board, subject only to the blessings of Steve Hollowell, Clerk of Court for Pamlico County. The required 60-day waiting period ended Sunday, Dec. 3, and Baskervill was sworn in early Monday, Dec. 4 – mere hours before she became the crucial vote in Riggs’ demotion that evening.

Riggs represents Township 3, and will remain as an elected official in good standing, although his role – absent the Chairmanship – is diminished. Riggs is currently employed as the executive director of a nearby utility. He is often consulted by colleagues on the Pamlico Commission for his expertise in issues relating to public water treatment and distribution.