Consolidation opponents take step toward running for school board

Published 12:10 am Friday, May 6, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Two school consolidation opponents took the first official step toward running for office on Thursday, when both opened campaign committees.

Rowan residents Andrew Poston and Michael Julian publicly stated their intent to run for school board during an April 25 Rowan-Salisbury School Board meeting. Poston ran as a Republican in March against State Rep. Harry Warren for the District 77 N.C. House seat and plans to challenge board member Susan Cox for the District 7 seat, in southeastern Rowan. Julian plans to challenge Chairman Josh Wagner for the District 3 seat, located in eastern Rowan.

Rowan County Elections Specialist Laura Russell on Thursday afternoon confirmed that Poston and Julian had turned in paperwork to open a campaign committee.

Both have been vocal opponents of school consolidation from the outset.

Opening a campaign committee isn’t the same as filing to run for school board. Candidates for political office are required to open a campaign committee for political contributions and expenditures. Filing officially starts on July 22 and ends Aug. 19.

Poston has an open campaign committee from the District 77 race, but needed to set up a separate committee to run for school board.

Election day for the school board is still months away. The next election takes place on June 7, when voters will choose congressional candidates and a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice. The Rowan-Salisbury School Board election takes place in November.

Poston and Julian appear to have turned in their paperwork one day after the N.C. Board of Elections’ 10-day deadline. Wednesday was 10 days after the April 25 meeting. However, the deadline doesn’t come with a specific penalty, Russell said. Poston contends he wasn’t able to file on the day he announced his candidacy because of the school board meeting’s time.

The N.C. Board of Elections requires candidates to set up a committee following a public announcement of candidacy, if money is spent or received for political purposes, if a petition requesting to be a candidate is filed or if a person is appointed to a vacant position.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.