Michael K. Alford, a Jacksonville auto dealer, is Gov. Bev Perdue’s 11th pick for a vacant seat on the state Board of Transportation.
Once his name is reviewed by members of a legislative oversight committee, Alford is expected to take an at-large seat dedicated to rural transportation needs. He will succeed another Jacksonville businessman, Lewis W. Sewell Jr., who resigned in 2008 after The News & Observer reported that he had steered DOT money to road projects near commercial property he or his son owned.
State election records show that Alford, a registered Democrat and president of Marine Chevrolet, has contributed to a number of Democratic and Republican political campaigns. He gave $4,000 to the campaign of Perdue, a Democrat, in 2008, and $2,000 to her Democratic predecessor, Mike Easley, in 2000.
Republican benefactors of Alford’s campaign contributions include the Republican National Committee ($2,500 in 2008), U.S. Rep. Walter Jones ($1,500 from 2003 to 2005), and U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole ($250 in 2002) and Richard Burr ($1,000 in 2004).
In 2000 Alford gave $1,000 to Jones's Democratic challenger, Leigh Harvey McNairy of Kinston, whom Perdue appointed to the Board of Transportation last year.