• 68°

Primary may have meaning Democrats’ votes for presidential candidate carrying more weight this year

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
Happy days are finally here again for Rowan County Democrats. Their votes in the state’s May primary could actually help pick the party’s presidential nominee.
“It’s always been decided before … in the first two or three primaries, and then it was over,” says Bobbie Earnhardt, the county’s longest serving elected Democrat. She’s in her fourth term as Register of Deeds.
“This is good for North Carolina,” she says. “A lot of young people are involved. Before, people felt their vote didn’t count.”
If the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is still unsettled by May 6, Earnhardt predicts it will outshine all other contests on the ticket across the state.
Officers and activists in the Rowan County Democratic Party are excited about the prospect of having North Carolina’s vote count in picking a presidential nominee.
“There’s genuine interest and excitement about the two candidates,” says the Rev. Marvin Lindsay, a vice chairman. “They’re both extremely well qualified. People are satisfied with both candidates.”
Lindsay, a local pastor, is a relative newcomer to the Democratic Party. A Republi-can in the 1980s, he switched to unaffiliated and, in 2004, made the move to Democrat.
He expects a high turnout in the May primary.
Lindsay admits to a certain amount of satisfaction that North Carolina didn’t join other states in moving up the primary. He compared it to people cutting in line at the grocery store. “All those who cut in line ahead of us may wish they had stayed back.”
Awareness about this year’s race is high, says party activist Nan Lund.
“People know there is a presidential contest, unlike some years,” Lund says. “People know who is running.”
Lund, who moved to Rowan County four years ago, got started in politics in Buffalo, N.Y. She signed up and went to work for Hilary Clinton in her first run for the Senate.
Lund and others are now working to register young voters, holding drives at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Livingstone College.
She’s expecting a good turnout on May 6.
Genoal Russell, first vice chairman of the local party, has been voting in the Democratic primary for decades. For the first time, her vote will matter.
“It will feel good,” she says.
Both Russell and Earnhardt aren’t pleased with the media, particularly with what they feel is television’s rush to decide the race.
Russell says people across the country need to make the decisions, not the newscasters. “Sometimes it would be nice to let the people decide.”
Earnhardt says the “news people” thought they were going to choose the candidates. “People have surprised them … they said it was going this way and then people surprised them, and they’ve had to eat crow.”
Earnhardt also says the national media weren’t fair to all the candidates, particularly John Edwards on the Democratic side and Ron Paul on the Republican side.
The increased interest in the presidential race, Democratic and Republican, is apparently spurring more people to register.
Crystal West, an election specialist, said the volume of new registration is keeping one staffer busy. She credited several registration drives.
The deadline to register for the May primary is April 11.
As of Jan. 10, there were 30,163 Democrats and 36,177 Republicans registered as voters in Rowan County. Unaffiliated voters total 17,077.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Nation/World

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

Nation/World

FDA says single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson prevents severe COVID

High School

Coaches, lawmakers react to governor’s order expanding sporting event capacity

Coronavirus

Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics