• 50°

Editorial: Candidates line up to file

OK, armchair politicos. If you believe you could run our county, state or nation better than the people in charge now, it’s time to stop talking and start doing.

Filing began Monday for local offices from clerk of court to county commissioner, as well as for seats in the General Assembly and U.S. House. If you keep up with the issues, believe your point of view needs better representation and have time to devote to it, consider a run for public office.

Here are some things you might want to know:

Fees: Right off the bat, you have to have money. The filing fee is 1 percent of the beginning salary for the position being sought — $131.82 for county commission, for example.

Committees: A lot of paperwork is involved. All candidates are required to set up an election committee and treasurer, who must attend training.

Party line: If you want to switch party affiliation and then run for office, you may be out of luck. You had to make that change at least 90 days before filing.

Potential voters: Rowan County has 93,755 registered voters. Republicans comprise the biggest group — 38,013.

Other affiliations: The majority of Rowan voters are not Republican, though. Democrats number 27,853; unaffiliated voters total 27,509; and Libertarians number 380.

• Party barrier: Unaffiliated candidates have to go the extra mile to get on the ballot — gather enough petition signatures to equal or exceed 1.5 percent of the eligible voters as of Jan. 1. For the county commission, that would be more than 1,400 signatures.

Gender: Women outnumber men on the registration list, 49,407 to 43,352.

Every hue: By race, Rowan voters break down like this: white, 72,672; black, 16,634; American Indian, 178; other, 4,271; Hispanic, 1,667.

No anonymous contributions. Each donor’s name, address, phone number and occupation must by law be recorded. Campaign finance reports are public documents, and the first report is due April 30.

In the end. Running for and serving in public office will be what you make it. “You reach for the highest goal,” former Mayor Susan Kluttz once said, “and then you’re happy with any improvement you make, and you should celebrate that improvement.” Kluttz wanted to end racism, but the same could be said for any goal. If you have a vision for what this county, state or nation could be, reach for that goal. Run for public office.

Comments

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread