With new County Commissioner Michael Shane Wilcher coming to office like a house afire, his older brother, Blaine Wilcher, also a county commissioner now serving his second term, hopes the public can make a differentiation between the two.
“I love my brother, but we are two different people,” said Blaine, a 4th District Commissioner. He says confusion has been rampant since his brother was elected in August to serve as 3rd District Commissioner. “We represent two separate districts," said Blaine.
Michael Shane, who won his way into office by beating incumbent George Smartt after using a water heater as his prop to draw attention to what he believes is government’s abuse of power, has taken aim at judicial commissioner Jimmy Griffith after he signed a warrant against him which led to his arrest. The charge, brought by his ex-wife, was eventually dismissed. However, Michael Shane has campaigned for the judicial commissioner’s ouster, claiming abuse of office. He’s even gone to the point of attending committee meetings concerning judicial commissioners before he was elected.
The Warren County Commission doesn’t see it Michael Shane’s way as it recently voted to retain Griffith. Blaine Wilcher was the sole dissenting vote.
“That wasn’t about my brother,” Blaine maintains. “It was about other things I knew about. Regardless, it has been voted on, it’s over, and it’s time to move on. My brother doesn’t feel that way.”
Blaine said he has tried to help his younger brother and even advised him to mount the door-to-door campaign that led to his election.
“He knocked on 1,000 to 1,400 doors and his opponents didn’t do that,” Blaine said. “I’ve talked to him quite a bit since he decided to run for office.”
Blaine admitted it was his idea for his brother to send letters to county commissioners expressing his issues with judicial commissioner Griffith. Blaine said he felt it would be better to send letters than to bring the issue up before the entire commission again.
The letter idea, however didn’t sit well with 1st District Commissioner Ronnie Lee, who took exception to the letter being sent to his home. Lee was captured on video confronting Michael Shane before a recent County Court meeting, promising to “whip his a**” if he sent any more suspicious mail to his home.
Blaine said he will continue trying to advise his brother now that the two are on the commission together, but he notes Michael Shane is his own person and will have to learn his own lessons.
“It’s about the people of Warren County,” Blaine said. “I think he is going to learn that one person can’t do anything without support. There’s 24 votes on the commission.”
Blaine said the commission has been very supportive of him even though he was the first Republican elected to the county court. His brother, Michael Shane, is also Republican.
Blaine said he hopes his brother will learn to build alliances so he can get things done for the betterment of his district.
“My approach lately is opposite of what his is,” Blaine said. “There’s a lot of confusion between us. I want people to know Blaine Wilcher and Michael Shane Wilcher are two different people.”