By Kathy Chaffin
A Rowan County man filed in Raleigh Wednesday as a Republican candidate for the 12th Congressional District seat currently held by Mel Watt.
Tyrus “Ty” Raymond Cobb Jr., 67, of 1025 Faye Lane is the only Republican to file for the seat so far. Watt, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, filed Feb. 13 for a ninth term.
In his first bid for political office, Cobb says he’s fed up with Congress and wants to do something about it. His campaign slogan is short, but to the point: “Send ‘Yourself’ to Congress.”
“That seat belongs to the people,” he says. “If the people want change, I’m their guy … I would like to see the people give me a chance to change the way things are done and get the United States back on the right track.”
If elected, Cobb says one of his priorities will be getting “our financial house in order.”
With the national debt rising about a million dollars a second and Congress spending money it doesn’t have, he says, “we’ve got to make some drastic changes to get that reversed.”
Cobb says he also favors giving people in impoverished areas “seeds and tools” instead of “food on a platter.” “We need to give them technology so they can work themselves out of the problem,” he says, “instead of fixing it and taking care of them every year.”
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Cobb served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1983. He returned to the U.S. Army Weapons Research and Development Command two years later in Sparta, N.J., two years later, working 20 more years as an engineer.
Cobb and his wife, Beverly, also owned and operated Ty Cobb’s Sport Locker, a retail sporting goods store in Sparta for 10 years.
A native of Duncan, Okla., Cobb was named after his father, who was named after baseball legend Tyrus “Ty” Raymond Cobb, who in 1936, became the first inductee into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Cobb’s son is Tyrus “Ty” Raymond Cobb III, who lives in Georgetown, Mass., and one of his three sons is the IVth.
Is there any relation to the former outfielder who spent 21 years playing for the Detroit Tigers?
“It is very likely, but I have nothing to prove it,” Cobb says. The baseball player, also known as the “Georgia Peach,” was from Georgia, he says, which is where his father’s family originated.
Though he loves baseball, Cobb says he was only an average player growing up. His son, however, had more success living up to the famous name, he says.
Cobb and his wife moved to Salisbury three years ago to be closer to their daughter, Christy Ritchey and her two sons.
A coach for youth sports, Cobb works out three time a week and is a certified Red Cross lifeguard, volunteering as needed at the East Rowan YMCA.
He and his wife attend First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury.
Also filing in Raleigh Wednesday was Salisbury native Elizabeth Dole, who is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate.
Dole’s campaign said the Republican turned in her candidacy papers with little fanfare Wednesday at the State Board of Elections in Raleigh.
In a prepared statement, Dole said she was proud of her accomplishments during her first six-year term. She said she helped secure a tobacco quota buyout and add military jobs in North Carolina during the most recent round of base closings.
At least four Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination to challenge Dole in November. No other Republicans had filed candidacy papers as of late Wednesday.
The following candidates have previously filed for offices:
County commissioner ó Republican:- Carl L. Ford, China Grove.
– James B. “Jim” Sides, Salisbury, incumbent.
– Michael T. “Mike” Miller, China Grove.
County commissioner ó Democrat:
– Raymond D. Coltrain, Salisbury.
Non-partisan Kannapolis School Board (Rowan seat) ó
– Todd E. Adams, Kannapolis.
– Lee M. Efird, Kannapolis, incumbent.
N.C. State House 76th District ó Republican:- Fred F. Steen II, Landis, incumbent.
– Robert W. Campbell, Richfield.
N.C. State House 77th District ó Democrat:- Lorene T. Coates, Salisbury, incumbent.
N.C. State House 77th District ó Republican:
– Ada M. Fisher, Salisbury.
N.C. Senate District 34 ó Republican:- Andrew C. Brock, Mocksville, incumbent.
U.S. Congress 6th District ó Democrat:
– Johnny J. Carter, Summerfield.
– Teresa Sue Bratton.
U.S. Congress 6th District ó Republican:
– Howard Coble, Greensboro, incumbent.
U.S. Congress 8th District ó Democrat:- Larry Kissell, Biscoe.
U.S. Congress 8th District ó Republican:- Robert C. “Robin” Hayes, Concord, incumbent.
U.S. Congress 12th District ó Democrat:- Mel Watt, Charlotte, incumbent.
N.C. Senate 36th District ó Democrat:- Mike Helms, Mount Pleasant.
N.C. Senate 36th District ó Republican:- Fletcher L. Hartsell Jr., Concord, incumbent.
– Thomas B. Hill, Concord.
N.C. House 82nd District ó Republican:
– Jeff Barnhart, Concord, incumbent.
– Larry G. Pittman, Concord.
N.C. House 83rd District ó Democrat:- John H. Stanley, Kannapolis.
N.C. House 83rd District ó Republican:
– Linda P. Johnson, Kannapolis, incumbent.
The deadline for filing for county or state offices is Feb. 29 at noon.
By Kathy Chaffin