Political Notebook: Caskey, Pierce open campaign committees for 2016 commissioner race

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

The 2016 Rowan County Board of Commissioners race may have its first two candidates.

Current county commissioners Mike Caskey and Craig Pierce unofficially launched bids recently when they filed paperwork to open campaign committees. Caskey opened his committee on Sept. 24. County Commissioner Craig Pierce filed his paperwork Oct. 2.

Caskey, a Republican, lives in the Enochville area and works as a police officer in Charlotte. He has also worked for Wachovia Bank and served six years in the Army Reserves. Caskey previously served on the Rowan-Salisbury School Board and Rowan County Planning Board.

Pierce, also a Republican, lives in Salisbury and is a local businessman. He is a North Rowan High School graduate and attended North Carolina State University’s engineering school. Pierce previously served as a member of the Rowan County Planning Board and chairman of the Airport Advisory Board.

Caskey and Pierce can’t officially file as a candidate for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners until Dec. 1. So far, Caskey and Pierce have only submitted paperwork stating they intend to spend more than $1,000 during the 2016 campaign, organized a campaign committee and picked a treasurer.

It would be Caskey’s and Pierce’s first bid for re-election. Both are currently serving first terms as a commissioners. Both have terms that end next year.

When Caskey and Pierce ran for county commissioner in 2012, they placed third and fourth, respectively, in the Republican Party primary.

The top four finishers in 2012 advanced to a runoff. Caskey and Pierce, who ran as a team, narrowly edged out Gene Miller and Gus Andrews in the runoff.

In the general election, Caskey and Pierce handily beat Democratic challengers.

City council candidate looks for crowd-funding to pay for campaign

Salisbury City Council Candidate Constance Johnson has started a crowd-funding campaign on GoGetFunding.com to attract donations.

Prior to starting her crowd-funding effort, Johnson has struggled to attract donations to her campaign. The latest finance reports show Johnson has provided almost all of her own funding for her city council campaign.

On the crowd-funding website, Johnson wrote: “Constance Partee Johnson needs your support coming out of seminary ready to put all the education and experiences to work for Salisbury, NC. I have exhausted my funds due to the sacrifices made through seminary. It was worth it, but now is the time to ask you for donations and contributions.”

She lists a lengthy resumé on the crowd-funding website.

To date, she has received $15 from two donors. Johnson is one of the donors.

Her goal on the crowd-funding website is $5,000.

Crowd-funding websites are commonly used for start-up companies or new products. In cases where a new product is being funded, donors often receive the product or some sort of reward for contributing money.

McCrory announces Department of Justice grant for NC program

Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday announced North Carolina is one of three states to be awarded a U.S. Department of Justice grant to help reintegrate juvenile offenders into the community.

“Our strategy focuses on improved assessment, delivering the appropriate education or workforce training and family engagement so they can be the support system for their child when they re-enter the community,” McCrory said. “Our youth must be given every chance to succeed and reach their potential.”

The U.S. DOJ awarded the North Carolina Department of Public Safety $1.1 million  — $735,000 with a required state match of $367,500 — to implement the new community re-entry program.

Specific elements to be created by the new program include: improved juvenile assessment policies and practices, a comprehensive service plan throughout the juvenile justice system continuum, creation and implementation of a tool to match juveniles to the services they need, delivery of effective and developmentally appropriate programming for juveniles, implementation of a family engagement and strengthening strategy to ensure that juveniles reentering family life can depend upon a strong and stable support system and documenting the effects of this re-entry reform strategy on recidivism, education, employment and behavioral health outcomes.

“We are excited about the enhanced opportunities for system reform this grant brings North Carolina,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry. “The federal funding allows us to continue to improve the way we do business, which heightens public safety while improving the outcomes for the youth and families we serve.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.