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NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Elections has changed to a five-person board, increasing from four, following the disbandment of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, which was subsequently reformed under the board’s previous name as the North Carolina State Board of Elections, along with the previous State Ethics Commission becoming its own body once again as well.

The addition of a new board member required the Avery County Board of Commissioners to allocate additional funds to pay the salary for the extra member.

The new board members include Thomas Huskins, Clay Crews, Gayle Culbreath, Minnie Johnson and Teri Seegers.

Culbreath, Johnson and Seegers were on the previous board. Huskins, Crews and Culbreath are Democrats, while Johnson and Seegers are Republicans. Culbreath is expected to be appointed by the governor and serve as chair, but that appointment has not been made official as of press time.

Hogan said board appointments usually take place in July, but the new state board resulted in the four-member local boards being dissolved. The new state board was formed on Jan. 31.

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