Coltrain will not seek re-election

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Commissioner Raymond Coltrain told the Post on Monday evening that he will not seek re-election after finishing his first term in office.
It’s likely now that both seats for Rowan County Commissioner in the 2012 election will be wide open, ready for two new board members to take them.
Commissioner Carl Ford announced last week he is running for N.C. House District 76, which also lacks an incumbent as Rep. Fred Steen campaigns for U.S. House District 8. That would leave the county commissioner race without incumbents in the May 8 primary and the Nov. 6 general election.
Ford said Tuesday he still plans to run for the 76th district, but he is waiting a little longer to file.
Coltrain made his announcement in a written statement.
“I am sincerely grateful for the continuous expressions of support and appreciation for my efforts,” Coltrain wrote, addressing county residents.
The statement listed three reasons why he has chosen not to run again.
Coltrain is a technical service provider licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He now has the opportunity to help more farmers, the statement said, but that work takes him out of town and away from his responsibilities as a commissioner.
Also, Coltrain would be more than 65 years old while serving in the 2013-16 term, and he said the time obligation is something he no longer wants at that point in his life.
Finally, he wrote, “I do not feel that I have been able to experience the level of contribution to the lives of our current and future citizens which I had hoped.”
Coltrain said he has kept his promise to Rowan County residents that he “had no agenda” and would make the best decisions he could for them based on the information available.
“Unfortunately I am convinced that the information on a given issue is not the real basis for the decisions that have been made by the Board of Commissioners,” he wrote.
Coltrain said Monday he couldn’t readily give specific examples of those decisions.
In his statement, Coltrain encourages voters to find candidates who are good decision makers and who “use that ability to serve the citizens instead of satisfying their own personal and political ambitions.”
In a brief interview Monday evening, Coltrain said he has conflicting feelings about leaving public office, because he often encourages others to serve and participate in government. But he believes this is the right choice.
So far, six candidates have filed to run for county commissioner, and only one is a Democrat like Coltrain. He said he isn’ concerned about the possibility of an all-Republican board, though.
“I’m looking at the capability of a person to make sound decisions and to make them for the right reasons,” he said. “That’s more important to me than what organization an individual uses to participate in the election process – particularly at the local level, where you can really get to know the candidates.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Facebook: Karissa.SalisburyPost