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Fascination with politics prompted Lyerly to run

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury PostTwenty-nine-year-old Laura R. Lyerly has a fascination with politics and a love for her native Rowan County.
Combining the two, she is running for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. She’s one of five Democrats seeking the two seats available on the board.
“This is a good county, a good community,” Lyerly said. “It could be a whole lot better. We don’t have to settle for average.”
Lyerly said the county should be willing to try some different things ó creative ways ó to spend money. “There’s not going to be a whole lot more money for county services.”
Her focus is on economic development, finding ways to bring in more jobs. She favors developing a partnership with the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis as a way of bringing more industry to the county.
“We need to be more creative, we need to be more diverse in what we are known for.”
Although she is the youngest candidate in the race, this isn’t her first run. Last year, Lyerly ran unsuccessfully for the Salisbury City Council.
“Losing was one of the best experiences I ever had,” Lyerly said. She said it was a learning experience and a fascinating process. Her interaction with city residents convinced her she can work to build bridges between the county and the city and between the various communities.
“We all need interaction … have a city and county without borders,” Lyerly said.
A resident of the Franklin community, she is the daughter of Paige Lyerly and the late James Lyerly. Her father was killed in a 2006 Christmas Day wreck on Stokes Ferry Road that also severely injured her mother.
Lyerly currently handles property management for her family.
She is also continuing her education, which started with eight years at North Hills Christian School. She graduated from North Rowan High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 with a degree in political science and English.
Currently, she is working on her master’s degree in public affairs through UNC-Greensboro.
Lyerly attends Trinity Wesleyan Church. She also is a member of various organizations including serving on the planning committee for the American Cancer Society, on the board of the Rowan Arts Council and as service chair for Surge, a young professional organization.
Since filing for office, she has spoken at several Democratic precinct events and met with other groups.
And she’s working on a Web site and planning an e-mail campaign in addition to traditional campaign activities.Other Democratic candidates include Raymond D. Coltrain, W. Terry Julian, Michael C. Phillips and Ralph M. Walton.
The primary is May 6.
A forum for both Republican and Democratic candidates for the Board of Commissioners is Tuesday at Catawba College’s Peeler Crystal Lounge.
Democratic candidates will field questions from 6 to 7 p.m. After a 15-minute break, Republicans will take questions from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.

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