Elect 2012: Pierce files for county commission seat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Craig Pierce, a Republican, was the first to file for Rowan County Commissioner on Monday.
As chairman of the county’s airport advisory board and a member of its planning board, Pierce said he has gained a better understanding of the county’s needs.
“I’ve spent the last year and a half going to all the county commission meetings so that I could familiarize myself with the workings of it, the types of issues there are and the decisions that have to be made,” Pierce said.
Pierce, 56, of 111 St. Johns Drive in Salisbury, is the owner of Pierce Interiors and Construction. He hopes to fill one of two open seats on the Board of Commissioners.
Pierce said his top priorities would be to improve economic growth, address shortcomings he sees in the Rowan-Salisbury School System, protect property owners’ rights and maintain or reduce the tax rate.
“We need to have a comprehensive economic plan for the county to help stimulate new growth in businesses,” Pierce said.
He said the county should do more — through tax incentives or other programs — to help its existing businesses, especially smaller ones, grow and add jobs.
In 2010, Pierce ran unsuccessfully for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education. Improving school performance is still a priority as he runs for county commissioner, he said.
As a commissioner, he said he wants to direct county funding to the classroom and limit the local money that goes only to benefit school administration.
“School teachers are overworked, underpaid, understaffed and are required to do a tremendous amount of wasteful paperwork that I feel like only goes to justify jobs at the administrative level,” Pierce said. “I feel like these funds need to be accounted for and should be limited to projects that benefit the classroom.”
Two other candidates also filed Tuesday for county commissioner. Carroll Crawford, a Democrat, and Joel Johnson, a Republican, will join Pierce and Republican Gus Andrews in the race.
Commissioner Carl Ford has chosen to run for state office this year, leaving his seat wide open. Commissioner Raymond Coltrain is still a potential incumbent.
Other candidates filing Monday or Tuesday include:
• Marcus W. Williams filed to challenge incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell in U.S. House District 8. Both are Democrats.
• Democrat Elisabeth Motsinger filed for U.S. House District 5. The seat is currently held by Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican.
• Charles Mitchell filed for re-election to the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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Craig Pierce
Office sought: Rowan County Commissioner
Age: 56
Address: 111 St. Johns Drive, Salisbury
Phone number: 704-637-0017
Party: Republican
Occupation: Owner, Pierce Interiors and Construction
Education: North Rowan High School, N.C. State University School of Engineering
Previous elected office: None
Community involvement: Chairman, Airport Advisory Board; member, Rowan County Planning Board; member, North Rowan Booster Club; executive committee member and fundraising chairman, Rowan County Republican Party.
Family: Wife, Melissa; daughter, Ashley; mother, Vicki; sister, Crystal.