Don Vick re-elected Rowan County Republican Party chair

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 3, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Republican Party reelected Don Vick as the chairman at Saturday’s annual convention in the Rowan County Administration Building.

Vick, who will serve another two years, was among the slate of leadership elected. Brian Brady will be vice chairman, replacing Elaine Hewitt. Susan Agner will continue as secretary. Duane Andrews was elected treasurer, replacing Daryl Cox.

On Saturday, Vick thanked party leadership for their hard work over the last two years and said the Rowan GOP has a lot of work ahead, specifically with the 2020 presidential election coming up and Charlotte as the site of the the 2020 Republican National Convention.

“We have a target on our backs in several of our districts. We’ve got targets on our back in our own Senate and our own House,” Vick said. We’ve got to energize ourselves. We’ve got to get out there. We’ve got to get out to vote. We have to do what we did with the past election.”

Commenting on the 2018 election, Vick said the Rowan County GOP “delivered every Republican candidate that was running in Rowan County.”

He said the Republican Party has concentrated on being more present in the community and bringing in bigger political names. The GOP in 2018, for example, hosted Reps. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, and Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican who serves as minority whip, to stump for the reelection of Reps. Richard Hudson, R-8, and Ted Budd, R-13.

On Saturday, a number of elected officials who Represent Rowan County also spoke.

Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, said he and Rowan County’s three members of the state House are working to bring “great things” for the county. It’s more of a challenge now that Republicans have lost their supermajority in the General Assembly, Ford said.

Rep. Harry Warren, R-76, encouraged attendees to keep legislators in their prayers and to call or email about work needed in Raleigh.

Like Ford, Rep. Larry Pittman, R-83, said this legislative session will be a challenge, as Republicans no longer have a veto-proof majority. Pittman said he plans to take “strong stands” on issues, one of which is protecting the state’s confederate statutes. Pittman mentioned Salisbury’s “Fame” moment on Innes Street and “Silent Sam,” which was pulled down by protestors in 2018. A plan for what happens next to the statue is not clear.

“You have this beautiful, beautiful statue right outside of here that should not be touched, and there are a lot of other statues that we need to protect,” Pittman said. “They took down Silent Sam. I’ve been angry about that. I’ve been in continuing contact with the Board of Governors and the UNC System and I have told my caucus ‘I will not vote for anything for UNC until Silent Sam is put back where it belongs.’”

Billy Constangy, Hudson’s district director, spoke on the congressman’s behalf and informed attendees that Hudson was working on issues of border security and Second Amendment rights.

Other Rowan County elected officials who spoke included County Commissioner Judy Klusman, District Attorney Brandy Cook, Rowan-Salisbury School Board Member Susan Cox and Granite Quarry Mayor Bill Feather.

Candidates for elected office also were able to speak for two minutes about their candidacy.

Sarah Newby spoke in behalf of her father, N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, who is running for re-election. John Lewis and Miriam Chu said they were running for vice chair of the North Carolina Republican Party. Sherry-Lynn Womack spoke about her husband, Jim Womack, who is running for NC GOP chairman.