Elect 2012: Carl Ford now running one-man race
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY - Carl Ford will be the only name on the fall ballot under N.C. House District 76.
John Williams, a Democratic candidate who had filed to run for the seat, bowed out last month. He told the party he was withdrawing because of "family issues."
A committee of the state Democratic Party had a chance to nominate a replacement to fill Williams' spot on the ballot. But according to an Aug. 30 letter from chair June Mabry to the Rowan County Board of Elections, the 76th district executive committee did not identify a candidate after meeting on Aug. 26 and Aug. 29.
Keith Livesay, a committee member from Rockwell, said he and other members approached several potential candidates who they thought were qualified for the seat.
"Unfortunately, after considering the time commitment required for the campaign, none of them thought they had the necessary time to run," Livesay said.
Ford, a Republican and Rowan County Commissioner, said it's great to be running unopposed. He won't stop talking to voters and asking for their support on Nov. 6, though.
"I'm still going to go out and campaign, because that's just what I do," he said. "Now I can help some other folks, too, in both counties. I'm going to work for Republicans in general across the board."
Ford said that while this news is definitely going to change how he campaigns, he still may do some fundraising because he has some debt to retire.
The 76th district's new boundaries have expanded from southeastern Rowan County into northeastern Cabarrus County.
In May, Ford won the Republican primary handily against Dr. Eric Troyer, earning 73 percent of the vote.
As long as he gets more votes in the general election than any write-in candidate, he will take the place of N.C. Rep. Fred Steen in the General Assembly.
"It's surprising not having a race," Ford said. "That's never happened to me before. I've run lots of times and had to work really hard."
Steen, who has held the seat since 2004, chose to run this year in U.S. House District 8 but lost in the Republican primary.
Ford said he's been talking to Steen and other state legislators about what to expect in Raleigh.
"I'm excited," he said. "I'm looking forward to expanding what the Republican majority started - in just two years, they've done a lot. And I'll be doing whatever I can do to help people back home in Cabarus-Rowan, and to help local governments in both counties."
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.