Voters put Coltrain, Lyerly on ballot for Rowan Board of Commissioners

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
Laura Lyerly, a 29-year-old newcomer to politics, will join Raymond Coltrain on the Democratic ballot for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
Coltrain, 59, the retired superintendent of Piedmont Research Station, easily took the top spot, polling 7,200 votes, or slightly more than 30 percent of the votes cast in the five-person Democratic primary.
Coltrain narrowly lost in his first bid for the Board of Commissioners in 2006.
Lyerly, who is working toward a master’s degree in public affairs, failed in a bid for the Salisbury City Council in 2007.
The daughter of Paige Lyerly and the late James Lyerly, she is native of Rowan County and a graduate of North Rowan High School.
According to unofficial results, Lyerly got 6,351 votes, or nearly 27 percent.
During her campaign, she repeatedly emphasized her intention to build bridges between various elements of the community, as well as between the county and the city of Salisbury.
Efforts to reach Lyerly Tuesday night were unsuccessful. She did not join other candidates who watched results at the Cohen Administration Building.
Coltrain watched the results carefully as they were displayed on the new 16-foot screen in the county commissioners’ meeting room.
Although it was clear immediately Coltrain would win one of the Democratic spots on the ballot, he waited until the last precinct reported before acknowledging his victory. “I sincerely appreciate all the support,” said Coltrain, adding he wants to use his experience to help the county.
Not wasting any time, Coltrain said he will start immediately on his campaign for the November election.
“We’ll do some of the things we did before. We’ll work a little harder and a little smarter,” he said.
Ralph Walton, a retired educator and former candidate for the Board of Commissioners, finished in third place with 3,739 votes.
All vote totals are unofficial until the Board of Elections meets on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Elections Office.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or