Jones County makes history with election of two African American commissioners

TRENTON, NC (WITN) - Voters in Jones County made history on Tuesday with the election of two African American county commissioners.

Several residents took commissioners to federal court last year claiming the way county commissioners were elected violated the Voting Rights Act. Nearly a third of the county's population is African American, but there hasn't been a minority on the board for 24 years.

The county increased commissioners to seven and also changed the way they're elected from at-large to districts.

In District 1, Charlie Dunn easily defeated incumbent Kyle Koonce, while in District 2, James Harper received 67% of the votes over Courtrina Fields.

While there have been minorities elected in the past, county officials say this is the first time ever that two African Americans will serve on the board at the same time.