Governor appoints Fred Wilson to Calhoun County Commission
by Tim Lockette
tlockette@annistonstar.com
Laura Johnson
lbjohnson@annistonstar.com
Oct 15, 2012 | 4506 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Anniston resident and retired teacher Fred Wilson to fill a Calhoun County Commission seat that has been vacant since the death in August of longtime commissioner James "Pappy" Dunn.

Wilson, 69, is a former Clay County teacher and school administrator who taught at Lineville High School. He said he is also retired from the National Guard, and is a member of 17th Street Baptist Church.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Alabama A&M, a master's degree from Tuskegee University and an education administration certificate from the University of Alabama.

There was no indication of the appointment from the governor's website, but Wilson said he got a letter of appointment Monday, and had already met with some of the commissioners.

Wilson said he knew Dunn, and had become interested in public office after working part-time as an inspector of licenses, a part-time retirement job.

Asked his party affiliation, Wilson said he leaned Democratic.

"I'm not a card carrying member," he said. "But I vote mostly Democrat."

Wilson begins work today as the commission’s representative for District 1, a mostly black, Democratic district that includes Hobson City. Though Wilson often votes as a Democrat, he was recommended by the Republican Party.

Wilson has been appointed to serve the remainder of Dunn's term. Dunn was reelected in 2010, and his seat is up again in 2014.

“It’s a minority district, and we put in a candidate who would fit the profile of the district,” said Gene Howard, chairman of the local Republican Party. “We didn’t have any black Republicans, so we recommended a very good man, and the governor appointed him.”

According to state law, the governor fills vacant county commission seats by appointment. The commission is a five-member body in which each person represents a district.

In Calhoun County, the commission has been functioning with four members since Dunn’s death.

“I’m just glad that the governor has moved ahead and made a selection. We need to get him acclimated and ready to work,” said Calhoun County Commission Chairman J.D. Hess, a Republican. “There is no one that can replace Pappy Dunn, but we’ll move along, and Fred will fit right in.”

An attempt late Monday to reach Sheila Gilbert, chairwoman of the local Democratic Party, was not successful.

Capitol & statewide correspondent Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star. Star Staff Writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @Ljohnson_star.
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