Have you voted yet? If not, here’s what you need to know
By Jessica Coates
SALISBURY — Municipal elections for Rowan County city councils, boards of aldermen and mayoral seats are upon us.
Election day is Nov. 7, and polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. that day. The last day for early voting was Saturday.
The following polling places will be open:
• Blackwelder Park Baptist Church — 2204 Summit Ave., Kannapolis.
• China Grove Community Building — 412 S. Myrtle Ave., China Grove.
• Cleveland Town Hall — 302 E. Main St., Cleveland.
• Faith American Legion — 1015 Gantt St., Faith.
• West Rowan Middle School, in the Media Center — 5925 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury.
• Granite Quarry Municipal Building —143 N. Salisbury Ave., Granite Quarry.
• St. John’s Reformed Church, Inc. — 901 N. Main St., Kannapolis.
• Jackson Park Elementary School — 1400 Jackson St., Kannapolis.
• East Spencer Municipal Building — 105 S. Long St., East Spencer.
• Rowan Public Library, South Branch, in the Meeting Room — 920 Kimball Road, China Grove.
• Rockwell American Legion Building — 8580 US Hwy. 52, Rockwell.
• Spencer Municipal Building, in the Meeting Room — 600 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer.
• Rowan County Agricultural Building, in the Meeting Room — 2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury.
• Maupin Avenue Presbyterian Church — 100 Maupin Ave., Salisbury.
• Rowan Public Library, Main Branch, in the Hurley Room — 201 W. Fisher St., Salisbury.
• Salisbury Civic Center — 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S., Salisbury.
• Park Avenue Community Center — 632 Park Ave., Salisbury.
• Knox Middle School, in the gym — 1625 W. Park Road, Salisbury.
• City Park Recreational Building — 316 Lake Drive, Salisbury.
• Isenberg Elementary School — 2800 Jake Alexander Blvd., Salisbury.
• Miller Recreation Center — 1402 W. Bank St., Salisbury.
Citizens will not need to show an ID in order to vote.
In Salisbury, all five Salisbury City Council seats are up for grabs. Four incumbents — Karen Alexander, Kenny Hardin, Brian Miller and David Post — and nine challengers are running to fill those five seats.
The challengers are Leda Belk, Ryan Evans, Al Heggins, Todd Paris, Rodney Queen, Patricia Jones “P.J.” Ricks, Tamara Sheffield, John Struzick and Latasha Wilks.
Traditionally, the person who earns the most votes is elected mayor by his or her fellow council members after the election.
In China Grove, five people are running for three available seats on the China Grove Town Council.
Those five candidates are challenger Arthur Heggins, challenger Jason Higgins, incumbent Brandon Linn, incumbent Charles Seaford and challenger Shane Safrit.
Councilman Mike Upright, whose term expires this year, decided not to run for reelection.
The three candidates who receive the most votes will serve with Mayor Lee Withers, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Stroud and Councilman Rodney Phillips for the next two years.
Withers’, Stroud’s and Phillips’ terms expire in 2019.
In East Spencer, nine candidates are running to fill four available seats — three seats on the East Spencer Board of Aldermen and the mayoral seat.
Three of the nine candidates — James Cowan, incumbent Mayor Barbara Mallett and Teon Robinson — are running for mayor of East Spencer.
The six other candidates are running for the three available seats on the East Spencer Board of Aldermen.
Those candidates are incumbent Tammy Corpening, incumbent Otis Gibson, challenger Tony Hillian, challenger Douglas Dwayne Holmes, incumbent Phronice Johnson and challenger Jamilla Kennedy.
The four candidates who receive the most votes will serve with Curtis Cowan, Deloris High and John Noble III, who are not up for reelection this year.
In Landis, four candidates are running to fill two available seats on the Landis Board of Aldermen.
Those candidates are challenger Tony Corriher, incumbent Dorland Abernathy, challenger Bobby Brown and challenger Roger Safrit.
The two candidates who receive the most votes will serve with Mayor Mike Mahaley, Tommy Garver and Seth Moore, who are not up for reelection this year.
In Granite Quarry, seven candidates are running for three available seats — two seats on the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen and the mayoral seat.
Current Granite Quarry Mayor Bill Feather is running unopposed on the official ballot. A write-in campaign has begun for former Mayor Mary S. Ponds, but Ponds has not endorsed that effort.
The six candidates who are vying for the two available seats on the board are incumbent Mike Brinkley, challenger Kim Cress, challenger John Linker, challenger Wes Rhinier, challenger Doug Shelton and incumbent Arin Wilhelm.
The three candidates who receive the most votes will serve with Jim Costantino and Jim LaFevers, who are not up for reelection this year.
In Spencer, all seven seats on the Spencer Board of Aldermen are up for grabs.
All seven incumbents — Mayor Jim Gobbel, Mayor Pro Tem Sylvia Chillcott, James “Mike” Boone, Kevin Jones, David Lamanno, David Smith and Howard White — are running for reelection.
The other two candidates, Sharon Hovis and Rashid Hakim Muhammad, are challengers.
Mayor Jim Gobbel is unopposed in his run for mayor.
In Kannapolis, seven candidates are running for three available seats on the Kannapolis City Council.
Two of the seven candidates are incumbents —Dianne Berry and Doug Wilson.
The five other candidates are challengers — Addul Ali, Howard J. Boyd Jr., Chris Gordon, Tony McBride and Van Rowell.
Incumbent Darrell Jackson decided not to run for reelection to the board.
Incumbent Mayor Darrell Hinnant and challenger Dennis Johnson are running for mayor of Kannapolis.
Three Rowan County towns — Cleveland, Faith and Rockwell — have just enough candidates running to fill the available seats in each of its elections.
If you have any questions about the election process or where to vote, call the Rowan County Board of Elections at 704-216-8140.
Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.