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Hoy elected to third-straight term as Rowan Democrats chairman

SALISBURY — Rowan County Deomcrats on Saturday re-elected Chairman Geoffrey Hoy for another two-year term.

It will be his third-straight term as chairman. He first became chair in 2014 after local Democrat Veleria Levy stepped down for personal reasons. He was elected to his first full term in 2015. Notably, this term will extend into the 2020 presidential election.

Hoy had no competition on Saturday.

And, when asked about goals for the next two years, Hoy kept his comments short.

“No. 1 register voters. No. 2 get out the vote, and No. 3 elect Democrats,” Hoy said. “Simple and succinct and to the point.”

It’s all about the basis, Hoy said. The party must work hard and expand its base of volunteers.

But as the party looks toward the 2020 presidential, U.S. Senate, Congress, gubernatorial and down-ballot elections in Rowan, it will face the structural disadvantage of being located in a deep red county. Though, Salisbury is a shade of blue. As of March 9, 2019, there were 24,339 Democrats, 36,400 Republicans, 13 members of the Green Party, 19 members of the Constitution Party, 384 Libertarians and 26,306 unaffiliated voters in Rowan County.

In the meantime, voters will elect candidates for municipal office in 2019, including the Salisbury City Council.

Instead of inviting a guest or elected officials who are registered Democrats to speak, Hoy on Saturday encouraged the crowd assembled to offer up reasons why they had chosen to be Democrats.

Arin Wilhelm, who challenged now-Sen. Carl Ford for the 33rd Congressional District, said that he switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party at the age of 21 because it seemed that Democrats cared more about helping people.

Debra Rookard said she couldn’t belong to a party, referring the GOP, that threatened to take away people’s health care and detain the children of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in cages. Rookard said she wanted to belong to a party that cares about people.

Cynthia Pharr said she believes in fairness, justice and equality for all people.

“We are our brother’s keeper, and we should practice that,” Pharr said.

Another speaker said the Democratic Party’s ideas are reasonable and more conducive to prosperity. Another said the Democratic Party does not look down on those who are poverty-stricken and complained that President Donald Trump uses language unbecoming of someone in his position.

Others elected to office in the Rowan County Democratic Party on Saturday included:

• Latasha Wilks, first vice-chair

• Whitney Bost, second vice-chair

• Shawn Rush, third vice-chair

• Dianne Sartiano, secretary

The party did not elected a treasurer because someone who had expressed interest in the position was not present and those gathered Saturday were unsure of the person’s name.

Contact editor Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4248.

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