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Cities, towns elect leaders today

SALISBURY — Despite a low voter turnout so far, the county elections director hopes to see an uptick in voters during Tuesday’s municipal elections.
Elections Director Nancy Evans said the county has seen 811 one-stop voters this year.
But with 14.5 percent voter turnout across all municipalities in 2011, Evans said she hopes to see 15 to 20 percent turnout this year.
Election precincts will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
More than 60 candidates are running in Rowan’s 10 municipalities. Here are the candidates in your town:
• China Grove voters may vote for three from among these five candidates: incumbents Brandon Linn, Charles Seaford and Mike Upright, who are all seeking a second term; and Barbara Doby and Butch Bivens, who have served on the board in the past. The China Grove polling place is the China Grove Community Building, 412 S. Myrtle St.
• Cleveland voters can choose three from a ballot of five candidates: incumbents Pat Phifer and Travis Summitt, and challengers Gerald Osborne, Patrick Phifer, Richard Taylor. Mayor Pro Tem Danny Gabriel is running unopposed for mayor. The polling place is at Cleveland Town Hall, 302 E. Main St.
• East Spencer voters may choose three from a slate of five: Tammy Corpening, Otis Gibson, Phronice Johnson, Titus King Sr. and Robert Smith. The polling place is East Spencer Municipal Building, 206 N. Long St.
• Faith chooses an entire town board every two years. Voters will choose five from a slate of seven candidates: incumbents Keith Deal, Gary Gardner and Mayor Todd Peeler along with challengers Brian Campbell, Michael Hibler, Matt Lyerly and C.J. Moody. The polling place is Faith American Legion Building, 1015 Gantt St.
• Granite Quarry has five candidates vying for two slots: Michael Brinkley, Jake Fisher Jr., Eloise Peeler, Wes Rhineir and Arin Wilhelm. The polling place is Granite Quarry Municipal Building, 143 N. Salisbury Ave.
• Kannapolis voters face the prospect of more change than any other local elected board, with Mayor Bob Misenheimer stepping aside and three council members not seeking re-election. The three candidates for mayor are Darrell Hinnant, Dennis Johnson and Tom Kincaid.
For council, voters can choose three from among eight candidates: Dianne Berry, Nina Covington, William Cranford, Jeremy Ford, Darrell Jackson, Amos McClorey, Thomas VanEtten and Doug Wilson.
Sophia Wilkerson’s name is also on the ballot; she is no longer in the race.
The Rowan County side of Kannapolis has three precinct polling places: Blackwelder Park at Blackwelder Park Baptist Church, 2204 Summit Ave.; West Kannapolis at St. John’s United Church of Christ fellowship building, 901 N. Main St.; and East Kannapolis at Jackson Park Elementary School, 1400 Jackson St.
Landis voters can choose two aldermen from a slate of four: incumbents Dennis Brown and Craig Sloop and challengers Dorland Abernathy and Tony Corriher. The Landis polling place is the South Branch Library, 920 Kimball Road.
Rockwell is the only Rowan town where a write-in candidate will definitely fill a slot. Mayor Beau Taylor is running unopposed after Tim Draper withdrew from the mayoral race. And only four people filed for the five remaining slots on the board: Chuck Bowman, Bill Earnhardt, Chris Stiller and Charles Wingerson. The town’s polling place is the East Branch Library, 110 Broad St.
Salisbury voters elect all five City Council members each year, and this year they have nine candidates. All five incumbents are running: Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell, Pete Kennedy, Brian Miller and Paul Woodson. They face four challengers: Rick Honeycutt, Blake Jarman, William Peoples and Dale Stephens.
The winners of the election traditionally choose the top vote-getter as mayor.
Tom Speaks’ name is also on the ballot, but he withdrew from the race.
Salisbury has voters in several precincts, including:
Milford Hills City, Isenberg Elementary School.
Milford Hills County, West Rowan Middle School.
Sumner, Rowan County Agriculture Building.
West Ward 1, Rowan Public Library, Main Branch.
West Ward 2, Fire Station 2, South Main St.
West Ward 3: Miller Recreation Center.
South Ward: Salisbury Civic Center.
East Ward: Park Avenue Community Center.
North Ward: City Park Recreation Building.
West Innes, Knox Middle School.
Spencer voters will find only one choice on their ballots for mayor: incumbent Jody Everhart is running unopposed. And they will choose six aldermen from among eight: incumbents Scott Benfield, Jim Gobbel, Kevin Jones, Jeff Morris, David Smith and Reid Walters, and challengers Mike Boone and Rashid Muhammad. The polling place is at Spencer Municipal Building, 600 S. Salisbury Ave.

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