Orange County

Democratic Party activist wants a seat on the Hillsborough Town Board

Matt Hughes is seeking a seat on the Hillsborough Town Board.
Matt Hughes is seeking a seat on the Hillsborough Town Board. Contributed

A former Orange County Democratic Party chairman wants to fill an upcoming vacancy on the town’s Board of Commissioners.

Hillsborough native Matt Hughes, 26, announced his intent to file for Board member Brian Lowen’s seat on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Lowen, who has served on the board for nearly 18 years, plans to step down for personal reasons on March 26. His term in office does not expire until December 2019.

The commissioners decided Monday, Jan. 22, to appoint a new member rather than spend additional money on a special election. Qualified Hillsborough residents who want to complete Lowen’s term are asked to file an online application by Feb. 11. The application process will include a public interview with the candidates and an opportunity for residents to offer their comments.

The new commissioner will be seated April 9.

“While setting a brisk schedule for the process, the board wants to be very thoughtful and transparent in making the appointment to fill the board vacancy,” Mayor Tom Stevens said. “I hope and anticipate we’ll have a diverse pool of qualified candidates apply.”

In addition to his local Democratic Party role, Hughes has served on the advisory council for Kidscope, the Orange County Board of Adjustment and the Orange County Human Relations Commission. He currently is the second vice chairman for the North Carolina Democratic Party and recently was appointed to the North Carolina Human Relations Commission by Gov. Roy Cooper.

He is a graduate of Cedar Ridge High School and the University of North Carolina.

“Two years ago, I ran for county commissioner because I was deeply concerned about economic development, sustainability, and affordability while remaining true to our community’s culture and character,” Hughes said. “These issues continue to be at the forefront and deeply interconnected. They are why I’m interested in serving on the Town Board and continuing to serve Hillsborough in a new and exciting way.”

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

More information

The public can comment on the search for a new commissioner and get more information about the time commitment and duties, the appointment process and find an application at To find out if you are a qualified resident, go online to

Questions may be directed to Human Resources Director and Town Clerk Katherine Cathey at or 919-296-9441.