Ceremony for former legislator McCombs to be held in January

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

A formal ceremony is the only thing left before former County Commissioner and State Legislator Eugene McCombs is honored on the road that links Salisbury to McCombs’ hometown.

A portion of Faith Road, which begins on the east side of Salisbury, is slated to become McCombs Highway. The portion of Faith Road to be renamed begins at Jake Alexander Boulevard and ends at Crescent Road.

Residents and businesses won’t see any changes to addresses, as it’s not a formal renaming of Faith Road.

After two municipalities and the Rowan county Commissioners approved resolutions earlier this year to honor McCombs, the state board of transportation approved a similar resolution at its November meeting. Local businessman Jake Alexander, who represents Rowan on the state transportation board, made the initial motion to approve the resolution. It was seconded by John Lennon, a state transportation board member that represents state ports and aviation.

Now Charlie Walters, who helped organize the resolutions and served with McCombs on the Rowan County Commission, said a formal ceremony will be held in early- to mid-January when a portion of Faith Road will become McCombs Highway.

“He was one of the most talented leaders that I’ve ever known,” Walters said about McCombs. “It’s a high honor for me to work on this and get him recognized.”

Signs won’t be placed on Faith Road until the renaming, which Walters said is currently being planned, but would likely be in early- to mid-January.

The portion of Faith Road to be renamed actually runs right past McCombs former business in Faith, aptly named McCombs and Co.

McCombs, a Republican, is universally described as a top-notch, hard-working politician.

McCombs began his political career in his hometown, where he served on the town board from 1948 to 1961. He was also mayor of faith from 1959 to 1961. He served on the county’s board of commissioners multiple times. McCombs was also chairman of the board for 10 years.

“There was so much going on that was positive rather than now when there’s so much negative,” Walters said about McCombs.

Bipartisan support for McCombs was clear in late 1980, when the commissioners were in need of a new chairman. With no discussion, then commissioner Jim Cohen, a Republican, nominated McCombs to head the board again. The motion was seconded by Rufus Honeycutt, a Democrat. McCombs was selected as chairman by unanimous vote.

Then, in 1993, he took his political career to the state level as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives. McCombs served on the board until his death in 2004.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246