C. J. Bright named president of Union County board

NEMiss.News C.J. Bright
December 24th, 2021     Featured News Government & Politics


C. J. Bright has been named president of the Union County Board of Supervisors.
Bright represents Union County District 3 on the county board. A cattleman and home builder, Bright was elected to the board during the 2019 elections and is completing his second year of service on the board.

He originally sought the District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2015 and lost to David Kitchens, who had won the Democratic primary, by just one vote, 477 to 476, in the general election. Bright did not challenge the close vote count in 2015.

In 2019 both Bright and Kitchens ran in the Republican Primary, and Bright handily defeated Kitchens. There was no Democratic candidate for the District 3 seat in 2019.

“I hope I can be in a position to influence improvements resulting from the actions of the Board of Supervisors,” Bright told NEMiss.News.

Bright’s election as board president came as something of a surprise to long-time observers of Union County government.

When the Board of Supervisors organized following the 2015 elections, four new members had joined one veteran on the board. At its organizational meeting on Jan. 4, 2016, the first meeting of the year, the board adopted a plan of rotating the board presidency, sort of passing the presidency around the table. The previous practice had generally been for a single member to serve as board president for all four years of an elected term.

If that practice adopted in January, 2016, had continued, it was generally assumed District 2 Supervisor Chad Coffey would become board president for the coming year.

However, when Item 5 on the agenda of the board’s December 20 meeting was called, Coffey nominated C. J. Bright, and Bright was quickly and unanimously elected.

Apparently, the decision to nominate and elect Bright was literally made at the last minute as the board members were walking across Main Street from their office building to the Chancery Court building, where the meetings are usually held.

“It came up as we were walking over to the meeting,” said Bright. “I thought it had been agreed that Chad would be president and I would be vice-president.

“It came up during that walk. The other board members asked me about it as we were walking,” said Bright. “I told them I’d do my best if that was what they wanted.”

The board that took office in January, 2020, has seemed to get along together well, with the atmosphere at meetings being collegial and without apparent conflict.

“I think everybody on the board has the best interests of the whole county at heart,” said Bright.

The balance of the December 20 meeting consisted of routine business such as:

  • approving scheduled raises,
  • authorizing actions required by statute,
  • deletion of obsolete or worn-out items from the county inventory,
  • approving fees due to county officials,
  • receiving bids for meal service at the county jail.

The Union County Board of Supervisors will next meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 3, 2022.

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