The first Republican mayor in Kinston since 1877 was sworn in Monday night.
B.J. Murphy was sworn in as the first republican since the city's reconstruction, but the new mayor doesn't consider himself a die-hard elephant. "To be a Republican--Democrat on a local level, really means no difference to me. We deal with issues on city, water, sewer, fire protection, and police protection. We don't deal with your national Republican or Democratic platform. You know its an honor. That's really not what we're going to be focusing on."
At age 29, Murphy is the youngest person to be elected mayor for the city of Kinston. That's a drastic change for the All-America city. O.A "Buddy" Ritch, Jr. has served a combined 16 years as mayor. Now, at age 80--Ritch believes the young Murphy has to do one thing. "He's got to prove himself, ya know. He's got to be with the people. If you're not with the people you'll lose the people."
Murphy says he's ready for the challenge. "Even at age 29, which, it's one of those things. Its a nice thing to be recognized, but we got a lot of good things going. That's what we expect to do. We're gonna work really well together to come to some real common solutions."