Elect 2012: Election previews for primary coming this week

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 16, 2012

This week, the Post will run previews of contests being decided in the May 8 primary.
Today, we look at the race between Republicans Carl Ford and Dr. Eric Troyer for the 76th N.C. House District. The winner of that race will face Democrat John Williams in November.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up over the next week.
• 5th U.S. House District, a race that pits Democrats Elizabeth Motsinger and Bruce Peller against one another for the chance to take on Republican incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx in the fall. Rowan voters will take part in this decision after legislative redistricting last year placed part of the county in the district.
• 12th U.S. House District, in which longtime incumbent Rep. Mel Watt faces a primary challenger from his own Democratic party, Matthew Newton. The winner will face Republican challenger Jack Brosch in the fall.
• 8th U.S. House District, where five Republicans are jockeying for a spot on the fall ballot to try and knock off Democratic incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell in a district political observers feel could swing back to the GOP after redistricting.
The Republicans are former Landis mayor and current state legislator Fred Steen; Richard Hudson, who worked on the staff of former Congressman Robin Hayes; Iredell County dentist Scott Keadle; Vernon Robinson of Concord; and Fairmont surgeon Dr. John Whitley.
But before worrying about them, Kissell will need to defend his seat in a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Marcus Williams.
• Kannapolis Board of Education, where the only declared candidate for the Rowan seat is incumbent Todd Adams but three candidates are vying for two seats in the Cabarrus portion of the city. They are incumbents Doris Buchanan and Charles Mitchell along with challenger Dianne Berry.
• 25th N.C. Senate District, which is another district that took in part of Rowan County in legislative redistricting. Longtime incumbent Sen. Bill Purcell has said he won’t run again, drawing interest from four candidates hoping to replace him. They are Democrats Gene McLaurin and Daniel Wilson and Republicans Gene McIntyre and Jack Benoy.
• Rowan County Board of Commissioners, where the departures of Ford to run for the State House and Raymond Coltrain, who is not seeking re-election, has set off a scramble for the two open seats. Nine Republicans and six Democrats hope to be among the three from each part on the fall ballot.
They are Democrats Jack Eller, Corey Hill, Travis Summitt, Ralph Walton, Leda Shuping Belk and Carrol Crawford; and Republicans Carl Dangerfield, Bill Feather, Laura Eller Hutchison, Joel Johnson, Gene Miller, Craig Pierce, Gus Andrews, Mac Butner and Mike Caskey.
In addition to those races, we’ll be running an article about what local residents on both sides of the issue are saying about a proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the May 8 ballot. The controversial measure would write into the state constitution that the only marriage recognized in North Carolina is between one man and one woman.
We’ll be wrapping all this coverage up in a special section to be included in the April 29 newspaper.
Early voting starts Thursday.