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Spencer, Granite Quarry lack mayoral candidate as filing nears its close

SALISBURY — Today is the last day to file for municipal elections, and in Rowan County, two races lack any candidate and another has four declared candidates for five open seats.

Neither Spencer nor Granite Quarry has a mayoral candidate. Filing will close at noon today.

Spencer’s empty race follows the withdrawal of political newcomer Howard H. Doby Jr., who on Tuesday filed instead to run for the town Board of Aldermen. The town board race for six seats has nine candidates: Doby, Sam Morgan, David L. Karczewski, Bob Bish, Patricia Webb Sledge, Steve M. Miller and incumbents Sharon D. Hovis, Rashid Muhammad and David H Smith. Miller declared his candidacy on Thursday.

Spencer Mayor Jim Gobbel told the Post earlier this month he had chosen not to run for another term.

In Granite Quarry, Mayor Bill Feather told the Post earlier this month that he was still weighing whether to run. Neither he nor any other candidate had filed by 5 p.m. Thursday.

In Faith, only four have filed for the five-seat Board of Aldermen. The mayor is appointed from those elected to the board.

According to Rowan County Elections Director Nancy Evans, the county has in previous years extended the filing period for municipal races lacking candidates. If filing closes this year with empty races, she said, it’s likely the Board of Elections would allow them to be decided by write-in votes.

And the top qualified write-in in those races, if no other candidate files by noon today, would be the first seen for municipal offices in the county in 16 years, Evans said, pointing to an election in 2003 when write-in candidates won in the China Grove and Landis Board of Aldermen races.

The difference, she said, is that in 2003 both of those races had declared candidates.

“There were names on the ballot, but the write-ins took it,” she said.

In the event that a write-in winner does not want to fill the seat, Evans said, the town board could appoint a new alderman or council member in the person’s place.

The appointment could wait until the next term or the next election cycle depending on the town board.

Other candidates who filed Thursday included:

• Patrick (Pat) Phifer, for Cleveland mayor.

• Beau Taylor, for Rockwell mayor.

• Stephanie Walker, for Rockwell Board of Aldermen.

• Lizz Johnson, for Rockwell Board of Aldermen.

Taylor and Phifer are currently unopposed, as are East Spencer alderman candidates John G. Noble, Shawn P. Rush, Curtis B. Cowan and Travis Carter; Rockwell Board of Aldermen candidates Timothy Justin Crews, Chris Cranford, Chuck Bowman, Walker and Johnson; and China Grove Town Council candidates Rodney Phillips and Steve Stroud.

To file for municipal office, candidates must go to the Rowan County Board of Elections Office at West End Plaza, which opens at 8 a.m. weekdays.



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