Sheffield will run for Salisbury City Council in 2017

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — The 2017 City Council race has its first candidate — Tamara Sheffield.

After coming within 165 votes of winning a seat on the council in 2015, Sheffield says she’s running  again.

There’s no formal announcement coming, she said, but the Facebook page she used for her 2015 campaign now includes references to the 2017 race. In fact, Sheffield said she updated the year to 2017 immediately after Election Day in 2015.

When she ran in 2015, Sheffield said it was the first of at least two tries for elected office.

“I committed to myself and my family that when I ran, whether I won or lost, I would run at least twice,” Sheffield said Monday. “I just felt like with the short amount of terms, I should probably do at least two back-to-back runs. That was my first time out, and it takes time for people to know what you’ve done even though you may have done a lot of years.”

Sheffield, 47, is an account manager for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay branch. She is a Salisbury Pride board member and has served as its president. She has been involved with Lee Street theatre and Piedmont Players and is on the city Appearance Commission and the Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations Council.

She lives in Salisbury with her wife, Maryjay Mee.

In 2015, Sheffield was part of a field of 16 candidates who ran for Salisbury City Council. With 1,241 votes, Councilman Kenny Hardin secured the final spot on the council. Banker Mark Lewis was sixth with 1,133 votes. Sheffield finished seventh with 1,074 votes.

Sheffield said she’s running for the same reasons she did in 2015. She said Salisbury residents and leaders need to stop “working in silos.”

“Given the national landscape and vision for our country, I think there still has to be synergy and partnerships locally to tackle problems,” she said. “For me, those things haven’t changed.”

She said that issues of greatest concern now — crime, for example — were present in 2015.

“I think the underlying things have always been there,” Sheffield said.

Sheffield listed her career experiences, such as budgeting, as assets she could bring to the City Council.

Sheffield said she will talk to Salisbury residents over the coming months to determine the most important issues or priorities for the city. It’s not fair, she said, to predetermine a specific list of priorities.

Filing for municipal races officially begins at noon July 7.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.