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By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury PostMichael Phillips moved to Rowan County in July 2007, bought a home and soon after began his law practice.
Committed to serving his community, he saw a story in the Post a few weeks ago about the election for county commissioners. Phillips said this week he remembers thinking, “Wow, that would be interesting.”
The 31-year-old Rockwell resident is one of five Democrats seeking two nominations for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
He believes that his leadership skills and his fresh outlook for Rowan County will make him a well-qualified commissioner.
A New Jersey native who considers Charleston, S.C., his hometown, Phillips earned his law degree while in the Marine Corps.
He spent 10 years, from 1997 to 2007, in the Marines, stationed in Virginia, Rhode Island and Iraq.
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as a judge advocate for the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune and in the hostile area of Al Anbar Province in Iraq from 2005 to early 2006.
He rose to the rank of captain before resigning in June 2007.
Phillips said this week he’s never been to a county commissioners’ meeting and isn’t focusing his campaign on any one issue.
Instead, he pledges to work for the people of Rowan County in an open and honest way. He believes that lessons learned while in the Marine Corps will easily translate to working with the commissioners currently serving on the board.
Phillips opted to move to Rowan County after hearing about the area from law school classmate and Rowan native Bryant Anthony Norman, the son of Dr. Bryant Norman and Kay Wright Norman.
Now that he’s settled in, Phillips said he is eager to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty for the betterment of the community.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he earned his law degree form North Carolina Central University Law School.
His practice at 1121 Old Concord Road includes criminal, civil, real estate and immigration law.
Phillips said this week that he plans to put together a team of campaign volunteers and hit the ground running to get to know the county and its residents.
Other Democratic candidates are Raymond Coltrain, Terry Julian, Laura Lyerly and Ralph Walton.
The primary is May 6.
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Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or jburchette@salisburypost.com.

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