A stunned Gila Community College board member found himself unanimously elected president of the college board Friday, signaling a potentially dramatic shift in the politics of that contentious board.
Outgoing president Bob Ashford took Larry Stephenson completely by surprise when he suggested the Payson board member take the gavel at the beginning of the long-delayed January meeting.
Northern Gila County board members Stephenson and Tom Loeffler both said they expected Ashford’s election to a sixth term with the predictable support of the two other board members with districts dominated by voters from south county.
Ashford offered no explanation for his decision to support Stephenson, although he has reportedly struggled with serious health problems in recent months.
Read more in Tuesday's Roudnup.