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Latasha Wilks’ campaign manager running for local Democratic Party office

SALISBURY — Continuing Latasha Wilks’ legacy of advocacy, her former campaign manager, Chariel “Minnette” Dye, is running to succeed her as first vice chair of the Rowan County Democratic Party.

Wilks, who died suddenly on April 6, had been named first vice chair of the party on March 30.

Dye chose to run for the empty office to continue her legacy, saying she knows the ins and outs of what Wilks hoped to bring to the community. Dye served as Wilks’ campaign manager for her run for Salisbury City Council and Rowan County commissioner.

 “What better way to honor her,” Dye said.

Dye plans to continue fighting for the same issues that Wilks did, including proper education for youth and bringing vocational programs to West End Plaza to provide trade and skill opportunities.

In her announcement, Dye said, “I am an advocate of the Rowan County Democratic Party, and as a leader, I plan to ensure that all citizens of Rowan County understand why we vote, the importance of voting and why their voice and vote is imperative to the future of the city of Salisbury, N.C. I am a voice for the community when it comes to issues that affect our community as a whole, and I am an advocate for justice.”

Geoffrey Hoy, chairman of the county Democratic Party, said he looks forward to Dye serving as first vice chair.

“It just so happens a good friend and her campaign manager is interested in being nominated to fill the role,” Hoy said.

Dye is currently unopposed, Hoy said, and competition for party offices is uncommon. Nominations will be made at the party executive committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 28.

Hoy recounted the first executive meeting after the death of Wilks. April 7 was supposed to be for training the newly elected committee members, but instead they gathered for a remembrance.

Dye knows she can’t do what Wilks did and has large shoes to fill. She said she was initially unsure whether she should run for the office but ultimately came to a decision.

“It was hard for me because we were close,” Dye said.

She said those close to Wilks continue to hurt, especially because her death came so suddenly.

“Emotionally, it was a struggle,” Dye said.

Dye has attended party meetings to get a better understanding of what the office requires and to become knowledgable of the group’s focus on showcasing the importance of voting.

Wilks’ legacy will continue on, Dye said.

Currently, Whitney Bost serves as second vice chair and Shawn Rush as third vice chair of the party.

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