As Salisbury council field grows, other races falling short
Salisbury’s City Council race on Tuesday grew to the largest number of candidates since 1975, but seven other races in Rowan still lack enough candidates to fill town boards.
The Salisbury council race has seen a glut of candidates file for election after Mayor Paul Woodson, Mayor Pro Tempore Maggie Blackwell and Pete Kennedy announced their intent not to run for re-election. A total of 14 candidates will be on the Salisbury City Council ballot, as of Tuesday. County records show 15 candidates ran for office in 1975 and 1973.
The Salisbury City Council race includes two bankers, a lawyer, architect, restaurant employee, Air Force veteran and a fairly diverse field of other candidates.
Two people on Tuesday joined the pack of contenders for Salisbury City Council. The additional candidates included Salisbury Pride President Tamara Sheffield, a senior account manager at Pepsi’s Frito Lay division, and Stephen Arthur, who works at Food Lion and Romo’s Pizzeria.
With three days left until the filing deadline — Friday at noon — there’s potential for Salisbury’s race to become the largest ever. And, only two of the numerous candidates that will run are incumbents.
The two-week rush to file hasn’t extended to all races. Board races for China Grove, Cleveland, East Spencer, Faith, Rockwell and Spencer all lack enough candidates to fill the towns’ governing body. For example, only one person from Rockwell, incumbent Bill Earnhardt, has filed for the town board.
Rockwell’s town board consists of five members. Four positions would be unfilled if filing closed Tuesday. Alderman Bobby Moore said he intends to run for re-election, but hasn’t had the chance yet. Other aldermen weren’t able to be reached for comment. Similarly, no one had filed for Rockwell’s mayor position as of Tuesday, and Rockwell Mayor Beau Taylor couldn’t be reached for comment.
In Spencer, two aldermen filed to run for mayor after incumbent Jody Everhart decided not to run for re-election. As a result, there’s three alderman slots open on Spencer’s six-seat board, excluding the mayor.
Other towns don’t need quite as many candidates to fill town boards. In China Grove, only one alderman is needed, Cleveland needs one, East Spencer needs two and Faith needs two.
If candidates for the open slots don’t file by Friday at noon, Rowan County Board of Elections Director Nancy Evans said the filing period could be extended by five days.
After the filing period is extended once, write-ins would be the only way to get a seat on the town board. Even if there’s hundreds of votes, characters like Mickey Mouse or Santa Claus can’t get on the town board, Evans said.
Write-in candidates who receive enough votes to be on the town face the same scrutiny — an address in the city limits for example — as those officially placed on the ballot.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.
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