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Walton makes second run for commissioner

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
Ralph Walton, a retired educator, wants to be part of planning Rowan County’s future.
Walton, 65, is one of five Democrats seeking two nominations for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
“Rowan County is at a big turning point. If we allow the current commissioners to continue to say ‘No’ to everything, we will be overrun by other counties,” Walton said. “We won’t get our share of the growth of the business. They don’t want to come here because everybody says ‘No’ to everything.”
He cited Toyota Racing Development as an example, saying it took a fight to get the company here.
Walton said incentives are an important part of attracting industry. He said, however, that he doesn’t favor giving “everything to everybody.”
“We have to compete,” he said, and added that current commissioners “aren’t willing to compete.”
He also views the Rowan County Airport as a gold mine, calling for a push to extend the runway as a way of attracting more business and race teams.
And Walton sees no reason to sell the fairgrounds on Julian Road, contending it would cost as much to relocate the facility as the county would get from the property. “Anywhere else would not be as accessible. West Rowan or Gold Hill would be out of the way.”
A native of Granite Quarry, Walton graduated from East Rowan High School and received degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For 40 years, he worked for the Rowan County School System and the merged Rowan-Salisbury School System as a teacher, coach and assistant principal. He currently teaches math part time.
He and his wife, Colleen, live on Brown Acres Drive. They have three children.
He is a member of Shiloh Methodist Church in Granite Quarry.
A member of the Granite Quarry Civitan Club for 32 years, he has served as club president twice.
Walton ran for the Board of Commissioners in 2006, finishing fifth in the Democratic primary.
Other Democratic candidates include: Raymond D. Coltrain, Michael C. Phillips, Laura R. Lyerly and W. Terry Julian.

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