Editorial: Good night for incumbents

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rowan County is Trump country, judging by Tuesday night’s Republican primary results. Though Ted Cruz was not far behind, brash billionaire Donald Trump has won the allegiance of at least  9,300 Rowan voters.

On the Democratic side of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton ran considerably stronger than Bernie Sanders here, continuing her string of Southern victories.

More pivotal to Rowan residents were the GOP primary victories of Mike Caskey and Craig Pierce as they seek re-election to the county commission. Johnny Love put on a strong challenge to the incumbents, calling for a more positive tone. This was clearly a reference to Pierce. Caskey is a man of few words who sticks to the high road; that’s probably why he got more votes even than Trump, 11,080. Pierce, on the other hand,  has spoken out against at least one economic development proposal and has a caustic way with words. Rowan voters appreciate people who “tell it like it is,” though. And Pierce has gotten things done — at the animal shelter, the airport and, if all works out, with county water and sewer. Even with Pierce’s volatility, the county commission appears to be operating smoothly under the leadership of Chairman Greg Edds.

Despite Andrew Poston’s best efforts, the Republican primary between him and N.C. Rep. Harry Warren was never much of a contest. Warren walked away with more than 71 percent of the vote. Political ambition is admirable, but it’s not enough to defeat an incumbent legislator who is in the good graces of the party in power. Poston would do well to get more experience at work and community leadership before running again. Warren was a relative unknown when he challenged Democratic incumbent Lorene Coates in 2010, but he had management experience, and he stepped up when the political tide was turning in his party’s favor. Warren won by fewer than 200 votes that year, but he easily won re-election in 2012 and does not have an opponent in the general election.

The passage of the state’s $2 billion bond is good news for Rowan, with more than $7 million set aside for projects at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the potential of help with infrastructure improvements.

Stay tuned for another primary in June for the state’s seats in Congress, and then it’s on to the November election.