GOP wants Yon for sheriff
By Jessie Burchette
The Rowan County Republican Executive Committee has selected Tony Yon to be the new sheriff of Rowan County.
The final decision on who will be appointed sheriff is up to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
The Executive Committee, meeting in closed session, picked Yon Saturday morning from among five candidates seeking to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff George Wilhelm, who retired Nov. 30.
With 39 voting members of the committee attending, Yon got 25 votes.
County commissioners may decide to discuss and appoint someone at their meeting at 4 p.m. today.
Yon, chairman of the Executive Committee and a Davidson County deputy sheriff, initially said the meeting would be open to the press and public.
He later changed that position, barring the public and press from the Saturday morning session.
Four Republican commissioners who are also members of the Executive Committee decided not to attend the meeting since it was closed to the public.
Commissioners are not required to follow the wish of the Executive Committee.
Since the Saturday selection, commissioners have received several e-mails calling on them to name Yon to the post, saying to appoint someone else will hurt the party in its efforts to retain current Republican officeholders and oust Democrat Rep. Lorene Coates.
At the outset of the session, Yon resigned as chairman of the Executive Committee in order to be a candidate, apparently leaving Donna Peeler, vice chairman, as the acting chairman.
The four other candidates who attended the meeting spoke briefly to the Executive Committee were:
Steve Schenk, former chief deputy, who said he would not run in the 2010 election.
Kevin L. Auten, current chief deputy, and an announced candidate;
Randall Correll, a Salisbury police officer;
Joe ěTravisî Allen, Rowan Deputy Sheriff, and an announced candidate;
Brian Kiever, a former deputy and police officer, who has worked for several federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In the 2006 GOP primary for sheriff, Correll finished second to Wilhelm with 35 percent of the vote. Yon finished in last place with around five percent the ballots cast.
To read Tony Yon’s original letter announcing his candidacy to county commissioners, click here.