Wallace, McCombs earn seats on Kannapolis school board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

By Rebecca Rider


KANNAPOLIS — Five candidates faced off for two open seats on the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education on Tuesday, but two pulled ahead in the race early on.

Initially, newcomer Brenda McCombs led the pack, with incumbent Daniel Wallace close behind. But as the night progressed, the two wrestled over the lead spot.

Wallace, a school resource officer supervisor for the school system, was appointed to the Board of Education after former member Millie Hall was unable to finish her term.

Longtime board member Danita Rickard decided not to seek another term after 28 years on the board, leaving her seat open to four hopefuls: McCombs, Kristina Tutterow Cook, Janet Yvars and Jessica Dixon Touart.

While voters in Cabarrus County precincts favored Wallace, those in Rowan leaned toward Cook — but both counties polled strong for McCombs.

McCombs, 64, has almost 30 years as an educator under her belt. She is a North Carolina transplant, having moved from Michigan in 1986. She is married to Dan McCombs and has three grown children and nine grandchildren.

Wallace was a Kannapolis police officer for 18 years and began working in schools in 2001. He is an Army veteran and a Kannapolis native. He and wife of 23 years, Emily, have three children.

Cook, 38, is a parent who has been active in the school system for years as a volunteer. She is the current chairwoman of the Kannapolis Education Foundation board and is also a Kannapolis native. Cook is an insurance agent for State Farm and has been married for 15 years to Jeff Cook.

However, once all Rowan County precincts had reported, Wallace came out the clear victor with 177 votes, and McCombs with 173. But the race was still on in Cabarrus County.

When the last of the results finally trickled in, Wallace and McCombs netted the two seats. Wallace gained the most votes from Cabarrus County with 971, and McCombs came in second with 757 votes. Cook earned 638, Yvars 523 and Touart 476.

Wallace earned a total of 1,148 votes, and McCombs 930.

Both Wallace and McCombs championed increasing school funding while running. McCombs also favored shoring up school security, and Wallace said he’d like to expand the district’s Career and Technical Education program.

A Post reporter reached out to Wallace and McCombs, but the candidates did not return calls by press time.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.