Featured photo: Hugh Holston was chosen by the city council on Sept. 14 to fill the at-large seat left vacant by Michelle Kennedy. (screenshot)

Hugh Holston will be the newest Greensboro city councilmember starting next Tuesday. Holston, who was unanimously chosen by the current eight remaining city councilmembers on Tuesday evening, will be filling the at-large seat left vacant by Michelle Kennedy. Kennedy served since 2018 and resigned from city council in August to take a job with the city as the director of the neighborhood development department.

During Tuesday evening’s special meeting, city council heard comments from 25 individuals who sought the seat. Originally, 45 people had applied to run but since the application window closed on Sept. 9, four applicants withdrew, one was disqualified because they weren’t a registered voter and three did not live in the city, a prerequisite for service. Among the applicants were former city councilmember Mike Barber as well as current school board member T. Dianne Bellamy-Small. While Barber spoke on his past experience on city council, Bellamy-Small did not attend the meeting on Tuesday.

Holston, who is registered as unaffiliated, currently serves as the chair of the city’s planning and zoning commission and has also served as the chair of the board of adjustment. During Tuesday’s meeting, he noted that he has been a Greensboro resident for 32 years and would be focused on three areas: civic, city engagement and business. During his comments, Holston noted that he has worked with the Community Theater of Greensboro and the NCCJ of the Piedmont. He is also the co-chair of Build Greensboro Together, a community-based campaign to raise funds to improve two Greensboro parks.

After all of the candidates had spoken, Councilperson Sharon Hightower nominated Gerry McCants, a Democrat with 31 years of business experience and the economic development chair for the state and local NAACP. Hightower’s nomination was seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson but ultimately failed in a vote, 2-6. Then, councilperson Goldie Wells nominated Holston, which councilperson Justin Outling, who is running for mayor, seconded. The subsequent vote to elect Holston passed unanimously.

According to Holston’s LinkeIn profile, he is the former director of the Lincoln Financial Group. He also worked as an assistant vice president for AT&T for 17 years and as an assistant vice president of Wells Fargo in Greensboro for 12 years prior to that.

He received in bachelor’s degree in business administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Holston to the North Carolina College Foundation Board of Trustees.

While many of the applicants noted that they were only hoping to fill the seat temporarily until next spring’s primary elections, Holston made no such distinction during his comments.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted that Holston will be sworn in as a city councilmember during next Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“Wow, I am so thankful,” Holston noted after being picked by city council. “I am honored, and I am humbled. I am ready to serve and it’s time to get to work; let’s go.”

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