Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
Salisbury Post
Rowan County Republicans urged state lawmakers Saturday to pass legislation prohibiting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
Unanimous support for that resolution came during the party’s convention at the Rowan County Administrative Offices.
Party leaders also supported resolutions calling for laws to define marriage as between one man and one woman, to add charges in violent crimes that cause the death of unborn children and to stiffen penalties against sex offenders.
According to the resolution regarding driver’s licenses, North Carolina is one of only 11 states that does not require legal immigration status to obtain a license. The resolution asks lawmakers to support legislation to prohibit the issuance of licenses to “those who are in this state illegally.”
The marriage resolution calls for amending the state constitution to define marriage as the union of “one man and one woman.” Rowan delegates voted to amend the resolution to add the words, “at one time.”
The Unborn Victims of Violence resolution asks for a law providing for additional charges on behalf of the unborn child in cases where violence against or the murder of a pregnant woman results in the loss of the child. North Carolina currently does not have this law.
“North Carolina does recognize if you kill a pregnant doe,” remarked party Chairman Steve Kidd. “You pay double the fine.”
Republicans also presented a resolution to encourage lawmakers to pursue final passage of House Bill 933, also known as the Jessica Lunsford Act. The act calls for stiffer penalties against sex offenders that reduce their ability to commit the crimes again.
Four of the seven Republican candidates for county commissioner attended the convention. Carl Ford, Mike Miller, Donna Peeler and incumbent Jim Sides spoke to the 49 registered delegates.
“With seven Republican candidates, there’s only one seat available,” a smiling Sides said. “I plan on keeping mine.”
Dr. Ada Fisher, candidate for the N.C. House in the 77th district, spoke to the delegates about healthcare, mental health issues and education, including dropout rates.
N.C. Sen. Andrew Brock spoke about the challenges the party faces this year and endorsed two fellow senators for top state government positions. He backed Sen. Fred Smith, a Johnston County attorney, for governor and Sen. Robert Pittenger for lieutenant governor.
John Graham addressed the delegates on behalf of his brother, Salisbury attorney Bill Graham, who is running for governor.
“We are under pressure from the courthouse to the White House,” John said. “We can win some of these, but only if we come together as a party.”
Kidd assured the candidates that the party will stand behind them.
“That ‘R’ that is beside your name means something,” Kidd said. “We will support that.”