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Former Republican chief to run for commissioners seat

SALISBURY — In an email to friends Friday afternoon, former Republican Party chairman Greg Edds announced his candidacy for the 2014 County Commission race.
Edds, who has also served as chairman of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, is the first official challenger for the board.
And in a county that boasts a strong conservative base, Edds’ move is sure to shake up the May primary race.
Commissioners Jim Sides, Jon Barber and Chad Mitchell are up for re-election in 2014, but Mitchell said he will not run again.
In interviews earlier this year, Barber said he was still considering the candidacy. At a Rowan Republican Men’s meeting in October, Sides announced he will run for re-election and planned “to die in office.”
In the email, Edds referenced “political gridlock,” which he said has distracted the county from the issues. Edds plans to announce his candidacy on the steps of the Rowan County Administrative Building at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20.
He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Along with the county’s Republican party and chamber experience, Edds has served as an active member of the local Civitan, the Rowan County Personnel Commission, the Rowan County Planning Board and was the chairman of the Small Business Council and Legislative Affairs Committee, the email said. In July, he was also tapped as the chairman over the Rowan County Airport Advisory Board.
Edds said he and his family traveled to Rowan County from Florida 18 years ago. In that time, he said, he’s grown passionate about the community.
“As we all know, Rowan County is facing significant challenges.  A directionless national economy continues to hit us extremely hard.  It is devastating many of our families and it is making local quality jobs even harder to come by,” he wrote. “Our schools continue to struggle beneath the mounting weight of federal regulation, crumbling families, and tightening state and local budgets. 
“We all witness senseless crime continuing to plague our community, and political gridlock persists, only serving to distract us from the critical issues we should be energetically uniting to solve. It is time, it is past time, that Rowan County come together to address the challenges that are keeping us from meeting our seemingly unlimited potential.”

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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