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By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
Terry Julian grew up in Rowan County during what Democrats may regard as the golden era of local politics ó the 1960s and 1970s, when their party ruled the county.
Julian, a Faith resident, believes that after after years of missteps and bad press, county voters are ready to put Democrats back in control.
The 61-year-old former county employee is one of five Democrats seeking two available nominations for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
“Everything that has happened has involved Republican members. It’s left a bad taste,” Julian said. “We can do better.”
He said the county’s reputation “has a lot to do with whether you get business, build up schools. Now it’s kind of in the gutter.”
Julian said elected officials are not keeping their eyes on the details “due to personal or private agendas.” He cited settlement claims paid out in the last four years, contending the total is the most paid out in any four-year period of the county’s history.
Julian said the county can strengthen the local economy by bringing in jobs while providing better services for seniors and better support for the schools.
“Our school board, school leaders and our schools’ needs have been made a target too many times over the past four years at the commissioners level,” Julian said. “It is time we all come together to address the educational needs of our schools and students.”
A Spencer native, Julian grew up in a family with a Democratic activist ó his mother, Frances Julian Holder.
“She was a always a firm believer that the Democrats sweep every election,” he said. “I did not always agree with her then, to her bewilderment, but now I think it is time for a change in our county.”
A graduate of North Rowan High School, he played basketball, football and baseball and attended Appalachian State University.
He worked at Hoechst Celanese (later KoSa, Invista) for 31 years. He then went to work as transportation manager for the Rowan County’s transit system, which operates the RITA vans and other services. From 1999 to 2007, Julian helped coordinate 500,000 trips for county residents.
During that time, Julian said, he gained a firm understanding of how county government functions by attending monthly transportation board meetings.
He and his wife, Patricia, have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Julian touts his inside knowledge of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, where his wife has worked for 34 years. She is currently a curriculum coach at Koontz Elementary School.
He is a member of Shiloh Reformed Church in Faith.
Julian has coached youth football and basketball for many years in the East Rowan area.
Other Democratic candidates are Raymond Coltrain, Laura Lyerly, Michael Phillips 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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