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Commissioner Michael Boose says he won’t run for reelection. Here’s why.


Cumberland County Commissioner Michael Boose said Monday that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2024. 

Boose, 68, a Republican, told CityView that he feels he’s reached the limit of what he can achieve as a commissioner as party lines divide the seven-person board.

“I always said I would kind of hang around as long as I thought I was still being productive and getting things done,” he said. “As the country gets more and more political, it’s getting more and more difficult to get to (a) consensus. I think the last handful of votes that I’ve been involved in have been 5-2, 5-2, 5-2, 5-2, 5-2 and maybe a 5-2.”

Two of the board’s seven members are elected from Dist. 1, which covers the northwestern part of the county, while three are elected from Dist. 2, which covers the rest of the county. Two commissioners are elected at-large, meaning they represent the entire county. 

In North Carolina, all 100 counties’ boards of commissioners are elected through partisan elections. Earlier this year, Republican lawmakers proposed changing the election process for the Wake County Board of Commissioners to a nonpartisan plurality; elected officials eventually reached a compromise that kept the election partisan but increased the number of seats on the board. 

Boose is the second Cumberland County commissioner in the past week to announce his retirement. Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, 62, said Friday that he won’t seek another term. Both commissioners represent Dist. 2. 

Both commissioners’ terms expire in December 2024.

Boose, a former assistant district attorney who previously served as the town attorney for Hope Mills and Spring Lake, was first elected in 2016 and is in his second term as a commissioner. He is the founding partner at Boose & Stewart Law Offices in Fayetteville.

Boose said he hopes someone will take his place who can help the board accomplish more.

“I guess some younger, stronger legs and some different ideas are probably warranted,” he said. 

Boose said that he has a great deal of respect for the commissioners he’s served with.

“Two of the best board members I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with have been Jimmy Keefe and Glenn Adams,” he said. 

However, Boose noted, party politics have made collaboration difficult.

“It’s just been very difficult to try to merge the ideas — that mine and Jimmy’s ideas weren’t good because they’re fiscally responsible and Republican-based,” he said. “So if a seven(-person) panel of Democrats is what’s needed to move the county forward or move the county, at least, I’m willing to step out of the way and quit banging my head.” 

When his term is up, Boose said, he plans to retire and spend more time with his wife at the beach and relaxing at their home in Little River. 

“I need to learn how to surf again and not kill myself at 68 on a surfboard,” he said, chuckling. “It’s time.”

Lexi Solomon can be reached at lsolomon@cityviewnc.com.

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board of commissioners, cumberland county, michael boose, glenn adams, jimmy keefe, elected