Editorial: Ready for local primary?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rowan County voters face some important primary choices on March 15, and not just in the presidential race.

The Board of Commissioners is one of the most powerful boards in Rowan County, and two of its seats are up for election this year. Incumbents Craig Pierce and Mike Caskey face a challenger in the Republican primary: Johnny Love. This should be an interesting race.

Pierce and Caskey won a runoff primary with low voter turnout in the summer of 2012 on their way to winning seats on the commission. Their name recognition has grown since then, which could be good or bad, depending on your point of view. Love ran just two years ago and placed fourth among eight candidates, missing nomination to one of the three slots on the fall ballot but finishing ahead of the man then chairing the county commission, Jim Sides. So voters are familiar with Love, too.

Our 77th District seat in the N.C. House of Representatives is also crucial. Consider the decisions the General Assembly has made in recent years on tax cuts, school funding, teacher raises, immigration, voter ID, legislative redistricting and so on.

You’d think a lot of concerned citizens would want to jump into this race. Incumbent Harry Warren faces only one challenger, though, fellow Republican Andrew Poston. No Democrat filed for the seat, so whoever wins can virtually waltz into office.

A forum featuring these five candidates will take place 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24
— a week from today — at Ketner Hall on the Catawba College campus. Sponsors are the Salisbury Post, Catawba, WSAT and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Michael Bitzer will moderate.

Send your questions for the candidates to editor@salisburypost.com. There are plenty of local and state concerns to bring up. Forum sponsors want to know which issues you would like Bitzer to ask the candidates about. Send your questions ASAP. The forum is just a week away.