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Political Notebook: Candidate forum roundup

Hopefuls for public office are out in force on the campaign trail, with primary absentee voting now nearly three weeks underway.

For many running for Rowan County seats, this trail includes participation in candidate forums or debates against their same-party opponents.

Here’s what we know about upcoming forums for congressional, legislative and local races in our area:

  • N.C. House Districts 83 & 67 Republican Candidate Forum – April 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Cabarrus County Republican Party and held at Faith Hall at Barber-Scotia College, 145 Cabarrus Ave. W, Concord, North Carolina 28025.

Candidates include Michael Anderson and Larry Pittman for District 83 and Justin Burr and Wayne Sasser for District 67.

District 83 includes parts of Cabarrus and Rowan counties. District 67 includes parts of Stanly and Cabarrus.

  • Candidate Forum: U.S. House of Representatives – April 17 at 6 p.m.

Held at Mission House at 120 Statesville Blvd. in Salisbury, this forum is sponsored by Salisbury Indivisible, Project Cover and Rowan Concerned Citizens.

Congressional primary candidates include and Kathy Manning and Adam Coker for District 13.

  • Democratic Primary Candidate Forum — April 18 at 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Cabarrus County Democratic Party and held at the Barber-Scotia College Chapel at 1 Buffalo Ave. NW, Suite 1104, Concord N.C., 28025, this forum will feature Democratic candidates for the 8th congressional district and 83rd North Carolina House district.

Candidates include Scott Huffman, Marc Tiegel and Frank McNeill for congress and Senah Andrews, Earle Schecter and Gail Young for the North Carolina House.

Mark Plemmons, editor of the Independent Tribune, will act as moderator.

  • Rowan County Commissioners Primary Candidate Forum – May 1 at 6 p.m.

WSAT, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and the Salisbury Post will sponsor this forum, held at Catawba College’s Tom Smith Auditorium at 100 West Innes St. Ste 103, Salisbury.

Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of politics at Catawba College, will moderate the forum.

Candidates include Greg Edds, Jim Greene, Mike Julian, Judy Klusman, Craig Pierce, and Jim Sides.

Primary voting dates

The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is May 1. Voter registration and voter changes end on April 13.

One-stop early voting will be available April 19 through May 5, and the primary will be held May 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tillis, Hudson sponsor new law to protect ceiling fan consumers

On Tuesday, the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act was signed into law.

The act was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. in the Senate and Representatives Richard Hudson, R-N.C.-08, and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.-01, in the House.

According to a news release, the act modifies the implementation of two upcoming regulations that would have passed on new costs to millions of American consumers if left unchanged.

Previously, there were two efficiency requirement regulations on ceiling fans beginning one year apart from each other: light bulbs in January 2019 and motors in January 2020.

These misaligned dates would have created a significant problem for the industry when multiplied over thousands of stores, supply chain lead times, redundant employee work hours, and the transition of inventory, said the release.

Specifically, the conflicting dates could have cost tens of millions of dollars in duplicative labor, labeling and testing for product models that would be obsolete one year later.

The costs would have filtered down to consumers, effectively limiting both affordability and availability of the fans.

Tillis and Hudson’s legislation gives both regulations a single enforcement date in 2020, avoiding these potential costs.

The residential ceiling fan market is roughly $1.8 billion, with 15 million units sold annually.

Both Tillis and Hudson said they were glad to see the bipartisan legislation signed into law.

“This … provides regulatory relief that will protect American families from being penalized with higher costs,” said Tillis.

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