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Brindle upsets incumbent Welch

SALISBURY — John Brindle avenged a general election loss almost four years ago and upset incumbent Harry Welch Tuesday to win the GOP nomination for Rowan County register of deeds.
In 2010, Welch had beaten Brindle, then a Democrat. This time, Brindle ran against Welch in the Republican primary and scored a resounding win, capturing 62.25 percent of the vote.
Brindle earned 7,083 votes Tuesday to Welch’s 4,293.
“I want to thank all the voters who came out and trusted me,” said Brindle, who lost as the incumbent register of deeds himself in 2010. “I appreciate all the work that’s gone into this election.”
Brindle, 42, will now face Democrat Sandra Sims-Campbell in the November election. Brindle promoted Sims-Campbell to assistant register of deeds during the period he was register of deeds from 2008-2010.
“Me and her have nothing between us,” Brindle said. “We’re fine.”
Sims-Campbell was part of a controversy connected to the register of deeds office. Earlier this year, Welch fired her after she filed as a candidate, and she is suing Welch under a claim of wrongful termination.
Welch, 66, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. He will now finish out his four-year term.
After his 2010 election loss, Brindle went to work as a detective for Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten, who also was on the GOP primary ballot this year.
Brindle said Tuesday night he changed party affiliation to support the sheriff, his boss. He said there was no way he would not want to vote for Auten.
“It’s never been about politics,” said Brindle, who lives in Gold Hill. “It’s about providing services to the citizens of Rowan County.”
Brindle spent most of Tuesday working the busy poll in Granite Quarry, where he said he received plenty of positive feedback from voters coming and going.
The main reason he earned such a resounding victory Brindle said was that Rowan voters wanted a change in the register of deeds office.
“We had a lot of people pulling for us,” Brindle said. “People were not satisfied with how the office was going and wanted something different.”

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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