NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Newly elected commissioners were sworn in at the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday.
Rob Zapple and Julia Boseman were sworn in, swaying the board from a Republican to a Democratic majority.
Zapple is serving his second consecutive term. Boseman was first elected to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners in 2000.
In 2004, she ran for the North Carolina Senate and beat Republican incumbent Sen. Woody White. Boseman ran for a seat of the board of commissioners again in 2014, but lost to White.
Jonathan Barfield, the Democratic veteran on the board, was unanimously elected to serve as chairman.
Many expected Zapple to be elected as vice chair. However, in a show of solidarity, White nominated Boseman, a longtime opponent, for the vice chair position.
“For 15 years we had fought our battles in public," White said. "We had never had a conversation, and when Julia walked in, that was the first thing we talked about, that we’ve never talked to each other.”
Boseman and White faced off in several elections, and their disagreements and personal attacks all took place in the public eye.
“It meant a lot to me when he called me Friday and said he wanted to nominate me," Boseman said. "I said, ‘Why?’ and he said because he felt it was important we work together and we try and mend these fences we put up and build bridges.”
After Boseman’s nomination for vice chair, Barfield nominated Zapple for the position. Boseman won the spot in a 3-2 vote, which came as a surprise to many who expected Zapple to be elected vice chair. Boseman, White and Republican commmissioner Patricia Kusek made up the majority vote.
“It’s never a dull moment on the county commission, let’s just put it that way'" Zapple said. "I’d certainly be ready, willing, and able to serve as vice chair or the chairman for that matter, but I certainly want what’s best for New Hanover County. Every meeting, there’s always surprises that pop up, but that’s inside baseball.”
While the board consists of three Democrats and two Republicans, Boseman pointed out votes do not always take place along party lines.
“Obviously the 3-2 votes aren’t always going to go like you think," Boseman said. "It’s not always going to be all Democrat-Republican so I’m excited for a lot of 3-2 votes.”