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Political notebook: Gubernatorial candidate will speak to Rowan Democrats during fundraiser

One of North Carolina’s gubernatorial candidates is scheduled to speak at a Rowan County Democratic Party fundraiser on Sept. 21.

Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper will speak about why the state would be better with him as governor, according to Rowan Democratic Party Geoffrey Hoy. The fundraiser will include a dinner and music.

The fundraiser is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. with a dinner. The event will be in the Salisbury Train Depot at 215 Depot Street.

Hoy said tickets for the dinner are $35. The Democratic party is also raising money before the event occurs. Money raised will be divided between Cooper’s campaign and the Rowan County Democratic Party, according to Hoy.

Major donors will be invited to a social hour with Cooper before the dinner and speech, Hoy said.

Hoy said the Rowan County Democratic Party isn’t planning to endorse Cooper or any other candidate until after the 2016 gubernatorial primary. To date, Kenneth Spaulding, a former state representative, is the only other declared Democratic candidate for governor.

Incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory plans to run for re-election.

Recent polls have shown McCrory and Cooper in a relatively close race. A recent survey by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling found roy Cooper slightly ahead of McCrory by a count of 42 percent to 39 percent.

Candidate forum set for Sept. 22

The first public Salisbury City Council candidate forum will be Sept. 22.

It will be at EastSquare Artworks, which is located at 120 East Innes Street. It’s near the back entrance to the remodeled Bernhardt Hardware Building, which now houses Sweet Meadow Cafe.

A total of 16 people have filed to run for Salisbury City Council. It is the most in the history of the race according to Rowan County Board of Elections records.

Rowan’s Republican U.S. Reps vote against Iran deal

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday rejected a resolution to approve President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran.

U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, R-8, and Virginia Foxx, R-5, were among the 269 who voted against the resolution to approve the deal. A total of 122 members of the U.S. House — all Democrats — voted for the deal. There were 25 Democrats who voted against the resolution and one Republican who voted “present.”

The vote, however, wouldn’t prevent the nuclear deal from taking effect. At its core, the deal seeks to reduce international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country ending its pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.

After voting against the resolution, Foxx said the United States must continue to stand between Iran and nuclear weapons capability. U.S. members of Congress against the nuclear deal have repeatedly said it wouldn’t prevent Iran from secretly pursuing a nuclear program in the future.

“Unfortunately, the deal presented by President Obama legitimizes Iran’s nuclear achievements and strengthens its extremist regime,” Foxx said in a news release. “This nation cannot risk the continued existence of Israel and the stability of the Middle East in order to win praise for renewed engagement with Iran.”

In a news release after the vote, Hudson said: “when the most brutal, anti-American regime and largest state sponsor of global terror says they want us dead, I believe them which is why I’ll continue to fight to stop the president’s nuclear deal that paves Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb.”

McCrory signs unemployment insurance reform bill

Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday signed Senate Bill 15 — aimed at reforming unemployment insurance — during a ceremony in Gastonia.

Senate bill 15, in its ratified form, is 11 pages. It makes a significant amount of changes to North Carolina law.

Changes included in the bill require unemployment insurance claimants to provide valid photo identification to collect benefits, allows a deliquent employer’s credit card receipts to be garnished, requres claimants to register through the NCWorks Online website and puts in place provisions to suspend the state’s reserve surtax on employers when the Unemployment Trust Fund reaches $1 billion.

The bill also includes measures to charge employers quarterly for benefits rather than annually.

In a news release about the bill signing, McCrory said the legislation would give North Carolina “the tools we need to put people back to work sooner and crack down on the fraud that has plagued the program for years.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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