RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County Commissioner James West, who represented District 5, has died, a Wake County spokesperson confirmed.
“Wake County leaders and staff are incredibly saddened by the sudden loss of Commissioner Dr. James West, who passed away Friday night. Dr. West’s commitment to public service and dedication to our community have left an indelible mark on Wake County. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the many residents whose lives he’s touched.”
The county said no services have been confirmed yet, and his family is asking for privacy at this time.
West was first appointed to the board in 2010 and elected in 2012. He was then reelected in 2016, 2018 and 2020. His current term expires in 2024.
Prior to his tenure on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, West served on the Raleigh City Council. He was the District C representative from 1999-2010 and also served as mayor pro tem from 2003-2010.
He was a founder or founding co-chair of a few community organizations, including the Wake County Collaborative Partnership in Excellence in Youth Development and the Raleigh South Citizen Advisory Council. His many leadership roles in civic groups also included being a charter member of the Wake County Voter Education Coalition and chair of the Garner Schools Area Advisory Council.
West received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from North Carolina A&T in 1964. He earned his graduate and post-graduate degrees in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University in 1971 and 1981, respectively. He also completed a post-doctoral study in advanced management in 1981 and one in legislative process in 1995 at NC State.