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Political notebook: Municipal write-in candidates littered with familiar names

The list of write in candidates during Rowan County’s 2015 municipal elections is littered with familiar politicians and local figures.

If a candidate receives enough votes to be placed on a town board or city council, he or she would be elected after meeting certain requirements. Perhaps the most significant requirement is being a resident of the municipality. In most cases, notable write-in candidates listed during this year’s municipal elections are residents of the specified municipality. However, no write-in candidate in any race received enough votes to be elected.

The Board of Elections lists any write-in candidate who receives five votes or more on final election results.

Current Faith Mayor Todd Peeler, who didn’t file for re-election, received the most votes of any write-in candidate in Rowan County. Peeler got 15 votes in the Faith race. He received seven fewer votes than Mike Hibler in the Faith race. Hibler won the final spot on the Faith Board of Aldermen.

Another current mayor who didn’t file for re-election also received a number of write-in votes. Outgoing China Grove Mayor Don Bringle got six votes in the China Grove race. Bringle received the most write-in votes of any China Grove candidate.

In Salisbury, a wide-range of people received write-in votes. Clyde, formerly known as Clyde Overcash, topped the field. He racked up three votes in the Salisbury City Council election. All the votes came in different precincts. Other notable write-in picks during the Salisbury race included: outgoing city councilman Pete Kennedy, former county commissioner Jon Barber, local architect Bill Burgin and former County Commissioners Chairman Jim Sides.

In Kannapolis, Nina Covington received six write in votes. John Rich Raper received five write-in votes in Spencer.

It’s not uncommon for write-in candidates to receive a significant number of votes, sometimes enough to make a town board. In 2013, Greg Philpot received 57 votes in the Granite Quarry Aldermen race. During the same year, Bobby Moore received enough votes to make the Rockwell town board.

Cooper leads McCrory in governor’s race 

An Elon University Poll released this week shows Attorney General Roy Cooper leading Governor Pat McCrory by nearly 5 percentage points.

It’s the first time Elon University has released a poll showing Cooper leading McCrory. However, Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling has found a similar, close result in its past surveys.

In Elon’s recent poll, 1,040 people were asked who they would vote for if McCrory faced Cooper in the 2016 general election for governor. A total of 466 picked Cooper, 416 picked McCrory, 26 said neither, 132 said “I don’t know.”

The same poll asked about the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. It found candidate Ben Carson leading the race with 31 percent. Candidate Donald Trump was second with 19 percent. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were tied for third with 9.7 percent.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was next with 4.6 percent.

No respondents in the poll mentioned Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, George Pataki or Rick Santorum as a candidate for whom they intended to vote for.

McCrory administration files suit against federal government

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced this week North Carolina had joined a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.

Specifically, the suit alleges the federal government exceeded its authority in finalizing new emissions standards. A news release from the Department of Environmental Quality calls news emissions standards a “one-size-fits-all federal rule” and says standards would jeopardize the state’s upgrading of coal plants to alternative energy sources.

“This administration is working diligently to provide cost-effective, environmentally-friendly energy to North Carolina citizens,” said DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart said in a news release. “The federal government acknowledges that the proposed rule will have very little, if any, environmental benefit and that many of the provisions regarding carbon capture and storage are overstated. This rule will not achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and relies on unproven technology that could be technically and economically impractical.”

Other states that are challenging the rule are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.




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