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Four Rowan County public offices go uncontested in 2018

SALISBURY — The candidate filing period for most 2018 elections ended at noon Wednesday, leaving four local races uncontested. 

Those races are for Rowan County district attorney, clerk of Superior Court, register of deeds and sheriff.

Nancy Evans, elections director at the Rowan County Board of Elections, said it has “been a while” since there were not challengers for those offices.

“The last two general elections with those offices, they’ve had someone running against the incumbent,” she said.

The incumbents are Brandy Cook, the Republican district attorney; Jeff Barger, a Democrat serving as clerk of Superior Court; John Brindle, the Republican register of deeds; and Kevin Auten, the Republican sheriff.

Evans said this year’s focus may have been so great in other, more competitive races that these races “fell under the radar.”

One such race is that for three seats on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. Eight candidates have filed, including Republican incumbents Greg Edds, Judy Klusman and Jim Greene.

The race drew interest when Craig Pierce, a current commissioner whose seat is not up for election this year, filed to run for one of his fellow commissioners’ seats.

Pierce told the Salisbury Post that he would be campaigning for the two years beyond his current term. He said he needs until 2022 to see through the expansion of water and sewer service along Interstate 85.

“I’m done after that. For any public office. I have no aspirations to go to Raleigh and definitely not D.C.,” Pierce said.

In commentary made on Facebook, Pierce said he has another motivation to run: he does not trust members of the current board to see the I-85 project through if he is not on the board lobbying for it.

Democrats Veleria M. Levy and Latasha Wilks have since entered the race alongside Republicans Michael Julian and Jim Sides.

Sides has a near 30-year history on and off the board, having served three nonconsecutive terms beginning in 1980, 2004 and 2010. He was acting chairman when he lost the primary in 2014.

Sides is locally known for a van that bears his name and the words, “Do you miss me yet?”

All told, 37 people filed for public office in Rowan County. Of these, 24 are men and 13 are women.

Seventeen candidates are Republicans, 14 are Democrats and one is Libertarian.

Five candidates for Kannapolis City school board were not required to declare political affiliation.

Candidates beyond the four uncontested races include:

• N.C. House of Representatives, District 76: Democrat Joe Fowler and Republican Harry Warren.

• N.C. House of Representatives, District 77: Republican Julia Craven Howard and Democrat Bonnie Dawn Clark.

• N.C. House of Representatives, District 83: Democrats Senah Andrews, Gail Young and Earle Schecter and Republicans Michael Anderson and Larry G. Pittman.

• N.C. Senate, District 33: Democrat Geoffrey F. Hoy and Republicans Carl Ford and Bill Sorenson.

• U.S. House of Representatives, District 8: Republican Richard Hudson, the incumbent, and Democrats Scott Huffman, Marc Tiegel and Frank McNeill.

• U.S. House of Representatives, District 13: Republican Ted Budd, the incumbent, Libertarian Tom Bailey, and Democrats Kathy Manning and Adam Coker.

• Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education, Area 1 (two seats): Kristina Tutterow Cook, Jessica Dixon Touart, Janet E. Yvars, Daniel M. Wallace and Brenda McCombs.

As required by law, the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement Office on Wednesday afternoon randomly determined the order in which candidates will appear on the ballot. The letter “F” was chosen from a glass jar containing cards with all letters of the alphabet printed on them. A second drawing randomly selected a card with the word “alphabetical.”

Primary election candidates whose last names begin with the letter “F” will appear first in contests on ballots in the May 8 primary, with additional candidates following in alphabetical order by last name. The order of contests on the ballot is determined by statute.

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