• 55°

Elect: Three challengers, two incumbents running for China Grove Town Council

View the candidate Q&A chart

By Josh Bergeron
Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE – At least one new person will join the Town Council in 2017.

This year’s race features five people running for three spots, and incumbent Mike Upright decided not to run for re-election. That decision resulted in multiple challengers filing for the race.

Candidates for China Grove Town Council include: challenger Arthur Heggins, challenger Jason Higgins, incumbent Brandon Linn, incumbent Charles Seaford and challenger Shane Safrit.

The three candidates who receive the most votes will serve a four-year term on the China Grove Town Council.

In advance of Election Day — Nov. 7 — the Salisbury Post asked all five candidates the same three questions about handling future growth, the most important issue and why voters should choose the candidate.

Arthur Heggins 

Heggins is a retired N.C. Department of Transportation employee, former pastor and business owner.

Asked about handling future growth, Heggins said proper planning will provide a path for the town to grow. He said he’s not sure whether the town has properly planned for growth.

He said there are two issues that are most important — the circulation of drugs and the unemployment rate. Heggins said he would like to see the city spend more time on ensuring the community is safe and helping town residents become employed.

Asked about why voters should pick him, Heggins said he would be a voice for the town’s residents. He said there’s a disconnect between what the council is doing and what the local residents want.

Jason Higgins

Higgins works as a server administrator for Bank of America. Higgins said he’s running to make a difference on the local level.

Asked about future growth, Higgins said new businesses should follow plans in place by town government. He mentioned China Grove’s land use plan as an example.

The most significant issue, he said, is increasing rates of opioid overdoses. It’s an issue in China Grove and across the nation, Higgins said. He said it’s unclear what measures China Grove could implement to stem the tide of opioid overdoses because of laws at the state and national level.

He said voters should choose him because he was born and reared in China Grove. Higgins said he cares about the future of the town. He wants it to grow to become a major part of Rowan County.

Brandon Linn

Linn is a Landis police officer who’s running for a third term on the China Grove Town Board.

He said economic growth is in China Grove’s future and that the town has done a good job of preparing for new businesses.

He said economic growth is the most important issue for the town, but China Grove also needs to continue working to improve parks facilities.

Asked why voters should choose him, Linn said he carefully analyzes decisions before making them. Linn said he thinks about how his decisions will affect residents of China Grove.

Charles Seaford

Seaford is a training coordinator at Duke Energy’s Buck Combined Cycle Plant in Rowan County. He’s running for a third term on the China Grove Town Council.

Asked about handling growth, Seaford said the town may implement screening requirements for some new additions to the town to prevent businesses from adversely affecting residents. Screening could include fences or trees, he said.

He said economic development will be the most important issue for China Grove in the next few years. He specifically mentioned the widening of Interstate 85. Once complete, the widening and addition of new exits on I-85 would create new opportunities for business growth in the town.

Seaford said voters should re-elect him because of recent actions taken by the Town Council. He said China Grove has kept taxes low, reduced water bills, improved parks and offered new events.

Shane Safrit

Safrit is a police officer in Spencer. He said the town is headed in a good direction, and he wants to keep the town on the same path.

He said the town’s growth and any “growing pains” that come with it will be the most important issue in the coming years.

Safrit said the town should embrace economic growth while ensuring China Grove doesn’t lose it’s identity. The town shouldn’t take a “hands-off” approach, he said.

“Theres a difference between sensible growth and growth just for the sake of growth,” he said.

Safrit said voters should pick him because he shares their values. He also said the town is growing, and he wants to see that continue.



RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured


Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12


Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September


Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers


Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners


Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs


Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers


Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class


Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow


States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes


Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack


NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting


People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%


Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots


Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time