McRoy makes four

Published 12:31 am Friday, February 10, 2012

Incumbent stepping forward

And now there are four.

Jay McRoy’s confirmation that he’ll run for re-election brings to four the number of Republican candidates in the race for Beaufort County commissioner.

The Chocowinity accountant is serving his third four-year term on the county board.

The other Republicans aiming for board seats are incumbent Hood Richardson, a Washington land surveyor and engineer; Tony Keech, a probation-and-parole officer from the Washington area; and Larry Britt, a Blount’s Creek real-estate broker.

One Democrat, incumbent Jerry Langley, has said he intends to run for re-election.

Incumbent Robert Cayton, also a Democrat, is opting out of the commissioners’ contest in favor of a run for the state House in District 3.

Four seats on the board are up for grabs in November.

Provided no other Republican steps forward, Britt, Keech, McRoy and Richardson will advance to the general election without having to take part in the May 8 primary.

First elected in 2000, McRoy gained prominence as a budget hawk when he pointed out an error in a proposed county spending plan that would have raised property taxes.

“At the time (a previous) county manager and commissioners were going to increase the tax rate that year, saying they needed additional monies,” he said.

McRoy figured out these officials were using the wrong budget baseline — a two-year-old tax base. He drew attention to the error in a public hearing, and, as a result, the tax increase was abandoned.

“I don’t have any other long-term agendas or reasons or ambitions, and I’ve always said that I ran to try to help the people of Beaufort County to what I thought was best for the people of Beaufort County,” he said.

McRoy is a lifelong Chocowinity resident. He resides there with his wife, Judy Clark McRoy.

The couple have three daughters — Jill Sparks, Jan Hill and Joy McRoy — and four grandchildren.

The candidate is a certified public accountant who owns and operates a small cattle farm and Warren’s Hot Dogs of Greenville.

McRoy was vocal in his support of then-University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina of Greenville — now Vidant Health — in its bid to take over what was known as Beaufort Regional Health System.

“I supported University Health Systems acquiring Beaufort County Health facilities,” he said in a written campaign statement. “People of Beaufort County deserve good medical care and with the options that were presented, they were the only ones which could provide the care and would make the necessary capital investments in Beaufort County. That decision was what the large majority of the public desired.”

Filing for candidates for North Carolina offices, including county commissioner, begins Monday and ends Feb. 29.