Challenger Al Heggins leads the vote for Salisbury City Council; incumbent Kenny Hardin defeated

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SALISBURY — With 2,152 votes — or 12.38 percent of the total — challenger Al Heggins received the highest number of votes for Salisbury City Council on Tuesday.

“We’re going to work together to write our next new chapter,” Heggins said through tears. “We have great things ahead of us as a community, working together, and that’s what our strength is.”

Incumbent Councilman Kenny Hardin lost his bid for re-election, coming in seventh in the 13-candidate field.

Incumbent David Post, incumbent Karen Alexander, challenger Tamara Sheffield and incumbent Brian Miller also won seats on the council.

Post came in 12 votes below Heggins with 2,140, or 12.31 percent of the vote.

“I feel good. I feel fortunate,” Post said.

He said he’s looking forward to tackling issues like the future of Fibrant, getting a seven-person City Council and helping schools in more ways than just “providing a little bit of money to Knox every year.”

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST David Post and Brian Miller at the Rowan County Commission chambers. Candidates for attend one of two locations to view the results of the several municipal races that was voted on on Tuesday. Most gathered at the Rowan County Board of Elections office at the West End Plaza while a smaller group gathered at the traditional location of the Rowan County Commission Chambers in downtown Salisbury. Tuesday, November 7, 2017, in Salisbury, N.C.

Alexander came in third place with 1,768 votes, or 10.17 percent. She said she felt “wonderful” and that she is looking forward to “opportunities to continue serving citizens.”

Sheffield came in fourth with 1,758 votes, or 10.11 percent.

“I’ve put the work in for six years and, by not getting a seat in 2015, it’s made me rededicate myself to this city. I’ll never give up on this city. So I’m glad to get to do the work,” Sheffield said.

Miller came in fifth with 1,696 votes, or 9.75 percent.

“It’s great. It’s a lot of work for one night, but it worked out well,” Miller said.

He said the thing about this campaign season that stood out most to him was how respectful candidates were to each other.

Patricia Jones “P.J.” Ricks came in just behind the winners with 1,527, votes, or 8.78 percent of the total.

“Salisbury picked who it needs to lead it. But I’m still going to be here. Salisbury comes first,” Ricks said.

Hardin was next with 1,478 votes, or 8.5 percent. He said he is “100 percent good” with the result and that this might be a good time for him to take a step back from public life.

“I enjoyed my time on the council and making an impact, but it’s time to allow this new council to forge their identity,” Hardin said.

John Struzick came in next with 1,090 votes, or 6.27 percent.

“I don’t think of it as a loss; it’s just that I didn’t get elected,” Struzick said. “You know, I had a good run, and for my first endeavor into politics, I think I had a fairly good showing.”

Latasha Wilks finished with 951 votes, or 5.47 percent. Wilks could not be reached for comment after the final results came in.

Leda Belk had 915 votes, or 5.26 percent of the total.

“I am so fine because I see some new blood going on the council and that’s good,” Belk said.

She said she hopes the new council will recruit jobs with good wages and “turn that big ship called Fibrant around.”

Todd Paris came in next with 787 votes, or 4.53 percent.

“I don’t have to be elected to win,” Paris said. “I’m just saying there are some wonderful things for Salisbury from these results.”

He said he’ll continue “influencing the public decision-making process any way I can.”

Rodney Queen came in next with 709 votes, or 4.08 percent.

“My whole objective in running was to get five good people on City Council, and I believe that goal has been accomplished,” Queen said.

Ryan Evans came in last with 363 votes, or 0.31 percent. He said he believes he can learn from the winners and “take notes” about how they campaigned.

“I just want to see the youth, find something for them to do. Keep them out of the streets,” Evans said.

He also said that he “appreciates everybody.”

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.