Filing ends for 2015 municipal races in Rowan

Published 12:10 am Saturday, July 18, 2015

Let the campaigning begin.

Rowan County’s two-week filing period for municipal elections ended Friday, and in all but five races there’s more candidates running than positions available. Barring a successful write-in campaign, five municipalities — China Grove, Faith, Landis, Spencer and Salisbury — will have a new mayor. Political turnover could quickly become a theme of the 2015 municipal elections.

The biggest margin of candidates to seats is the Salisbury City Council, where the race has already inked itself in Rowan’s history. With 16 candidates running, the race will be the largest field ever, according to Rowan County Board of Elections records. The race includes three incumbents and five open seats. Turnover is guaranteed to some extent in the Salisbury City Council race, where there’s historically been very little.

Candidates in the Salisbury City Council race represent a diverse portion of the community. There’s hourly workers, lawyers, bankers and retirees.

Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson and Councilman Pete Kennedy did not file for re-election.

The Spencer Mayor race shares similarities with Salisbury. Incumbent Mayor Jody Everhart chose not to file for re-election. Vying for Everhart’s spot are the town’s mayor pro tem, an alderman and a community member.

In East Spencer, incumbent Mayor Barbara Mallett will face a challenge from two community members.

The mayor and board of aldermen races in Landis could also shape up to be contentious. Incumbent Landis Mayor James Furr chose not to file for re-election. The previous two mayors of Landis filed for the spot in Furr’s place.

Landis’ town board will have two seats up for grabs. However, both incumbents have filed for re-election.

Rockwell has eight total candidates who have filed for a spot on its town board, which has five available seats. All five incumbents filed for re-election.

In other races, the number of candidates is one greater than the number of available seats.

Voters will choose their municipality’s new leaders on Nov 3.

• Candidates for Salisbury City Council (five open seats) include:

Incumbents: Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell, Brian Miller

Challengers: Stephen Arthur, Roy Bentley, Ken Hardin, Constance Johnson, Rip Kersey, Mark Lewis, Scott Maddox, Todd Paris, David Post, William Peoples, Troy Russell, Tamara Sheffield, Jeff Watkins

• Candidates for China Grove Mayor include:

Challenger: Lee Withers

• Candidates for China Grove Town Council (two open seats) include:

Incumbent: Steve Stroud

Challengers: Donnie Herring, Rodney Phillips

• Candidates for Cleveland Mayor include:

Incumbent: Danny Gabriel

• Candidates for Cleveland Commissioners (two open seats) include:

Incumbent: John Bradford

Challengers: Travis Summitt, Gregory Summitt

• Candidates for East Spencer Mayor include:

Incumbent: Barbara Mallett

Challengers: Rhonda Kerns, Brint Polk

• Candidates for East Spencer Aldermen (three open seats) include:

Incumbents: John Noble III, Curtis Cowan

Challengers: Benita Tulloch, Deloris High

• Candidates for Faith Aldermen (five open seats) include:

Incumbents: Gary Gardner, Matt Lyerly, CJ Moody

Challengers: Brian Campbell, Mike Hibler

• Candidates for Granite Quarry Mayor include:

Incumbent: Bill Feather

• Candidates for Granite Quarry Aldermen (two open seats) include:

Incumbent: Jim La Fevers

Challenger: Jim Costantino

• Candidates for Kannapolis City Council (three open seats) include:

Incumbents: Ryan Dayvault, Roger Haas, Tom Kincaid

Challengers: Dennis Johnson, Randy Keller, Amos McClorey Sr., Violet Mitchell

• Candidates for Landis Mayor include:

Challengers: Dennis Brown, Mike Mahaley

• Candidates for Landis Aldermen (two open seats) include:

Incumbents: Tony Hilton, Roger Safrit

Challengers: Tommy Garver, Seth Moore

• Candidates for Rockwell Mayor include:

Incumbent: Beau Taylor

• Candidates for Rockwell Aldermen (five open seats) include:

Incumbents: Chuck Bowman, Bill Earnhardt, Bobby Moore, Chris Stiller, Charles Wingerson

Challengers: Lori Bridges, Sondra Merrifield, Stephenie Walker

• Candidates for Spencer Mayor include:

Challengers: Scott Benfield, Jim Gobbel, Bob Oswald

• Candidates for Spencer Aldermen (six open seats) include:

Incumbents: Kevin Jones, James M. Boone

Challengers: Sylvia Chillcott, David Lamanno, Rashid Muhammad, David Smith, Howard White

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.