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Friday, 01 January 2021 13:21

Moss kicks off new year with swearing-in ceremony

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With his family by his side, Ben Moss takes his oath as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives on New Year's Day. With his family by his side, Ben Moss takes his oath as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives on New Year's Day. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons opened superior court on New Year’s Day for a special session — the swearing-in of Ben Moss.


Moss started 2021 by taking his oath of office as an elected member of the North Carolina House of Representatives in the old courthouse.

He said he picked the location because that’s where he was first sworn in as a county commissioner a decade ago.

Moss won’t be the only former county commissioner in the General Assembly. The Carolina Journal reported in November that former commissioners comprise 20% of the legislature.

A small crowd of family and friends attended the ceremony, which included several of the county’s top Republicans: Party Chairman Jerry Austin; state Sen. Tom McInnis; and newly elected Commissioners Toni Maples and Andy Grooms.

Other guests included Moss’ pastor, Steven Gilmer, of Reaching Our Community church, who offered the opening prayer; former chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Kenneth Robinette, and County Manager Bryan Land; and Montgomery County’s Joey Davis, whom Moss defeated in the Republican primary to have a shot at the seat.

Moss won the seat in the November election against Scott Brewer, who had been appointed to the seat by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2019 when Ken Goodman was appointed to the N.C. Industrial Commission.

Administering the oath was Superior Court Judge Dawn Layton, who was appointed to the bench by Cooper in the summer of 2019.

Moss said he has known Layton most of his life, as she grew up with his sister.

“It’s been amazing to watch you grow into the awesome young man you are,” Layton told Moss before he took the oath. “I’m very proud of you … and I think you’ll do great things for our district.” 

After the swearing-in, Moss addressed those gathered and asked for continued prayers.

“The journey is just beginning,” he said. “I want to be a representative for everybody, no matter what party or what differences we may have. I want to do the best that I can.”

In addition to Richmond, Moss will represent Montgomery County and the eastern sliver of Stanly County.

During his swearing-in, he wore a face mask depicting Bigfoot carrying a state flag to symbolize his representation of the Uwharrie region, which has had the most reported sightings of the cryptid throughout the state.

Moss, who works as an engineer for CSX Transportation, said the company has granted him a leave of absence while the general assembly is in session and will work with him around his legislative schedule.

He will be one of more than a dozen freshman representatives in the state House, led by Cleveland County Republican Tim Moore. The representatives will be sworn in in Raleigh on Jan. 13 before the 2021 legislative session starts Jan. 27.

Between now and then, Moss — who was elected freshman whip — said he will be setting up his office on the third floor of the Legislative Office Building and attending meetings with Freshman Leader David Willis, a Union County Republican.

He added that he is looking forward to his upcoming committee appointments.

“I’m just ready to get up there and get my feet wet.” 

 

William R. Toler

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