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All Salisbury City Council members file for re-election

SALISBURY — All five members of the Salisbury City Council will be on the ballot in November after Brian Miller filed for re-election Friday, rounding out the decisions by all incumbents to try to keep their seats.

The five, however, will have competition from two Planning Board members, P.J. Ricks and John Struzick; Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black; Giannina Monzon; and Ladale Benson.

Ahead of the filing period, the Salisbury Post asked Miller if he planned to seek re-election, and he said he was not certain. He had said at council meetings that he would not serve on the council after his current term expires.

Miller, in a letter to the Post on Friday, acknowledged that he previously said he would not seek re-election, but he said that through prayer and consideration, he decided to run to continue to grow Salisbury’s tax base and create an environment where people can live, work and invest.

“There are many voices in our community that seem to be interested in focusing on fostering division and discord,“ Miller wrote. “Personally, I would rather spend our time and energy on things that we can agree on and that bring us closer together as a community.”

Mayor Pro Tem David Post filed for re-election Tuesday. He said his focus is on economic development, primarily getting the Empire Hotel redevelopment project over the finish line; creating a city economic development commission; fixing the land development ordinance to make development affordable; adjusting the transportation system; and creating business incentives to provide more jobs.

Mayor Al Heggins also filed for re-election Tuesday. Her platform advocates for infrastructure, public participation, workers’ rights, decreasing poverty and reducing the crime rate.

Councilwoman Karen Alexander said she wants to use her skill set for the city’s good by boosting economic development, fixing infrastructure, building the relationship between the police and the public, and increasing the housing stock.

Councilwoman Tamara Sheffield will continue to focus on enhancing quality of life for all citizens, empowering community partnerships and energizing economic opportunities, her platform for when she ran for council in 2017. She said the city has made significant progress with the first two issues of her platform, but she wants to strive to attract more businesses and economic partnerships.

Rowan County Board of Elections Director Nancy Evans said the Spencer aldermen and Landis mayor races drew a lot of interest during the filing period, which closed at noon Friday.

In Landis, five people are running for mayor, including Meredith Smith, Alby Stamey, Mark Connell, Alderman Bobby Brown and Dorland Abernathy.

Twelve people filed for seats on the Spencer Board of Aldermen.

“That happens when there’s a lot of controversies in municipalities,” Evans said.

The State Bureau of Investigation launched a probe of the former Landis town manager and finance officer for possible embezzlement. The SBI is expected to make its finding at the end of summer.

Spencer came into the spotlight after a recording of a phone call was leaked in April in which Alderwoman Sylvia Chillcott’s wife, Patsy, was heard calling then-Town Manager Terence Arrington a vulgar word. The local NAACP called for an investigation. Arrington later resigned, but tensions remained when Mayor Jim Gobbel got into a heated debate with Black in May.

All in all, 71 Rowan County residents filed for office in 10 municipalities, compared to 73 in 2017.

Despite slow filing in the Spencer and Granite Quarry mayoral races, candidates in each town put their names in the hat on Friday.

In Spencer, Jonathan D. Williams and David Brown Doby Sr. will compete for mayor. In Granite Quarry, incumbent William “Bill” Feather filed for re-election.

The Board of Elections is now preparing for the Nov. 5 municipal election. Evans said her staff will have to calculate how many ballots to order for each town or city. Judging by the interest in filing, there will be a lot of interest in voting, she said.

Evans reminded voters who recently moved to update their registration by Oct. 11 to ensure they can vote in their municipality.

The candidates who filed include:

• China Grove mayor: Incumbent R. Lee Withers and incumbent council member Charles E. Seaford.

• China Grove Town Council: Incumbents Rodney Phillips and Steve Stroud.

• Cleveland mayor: Patrick “Pat” Phifer.

• Cleveland Board of Commissioners: Incumbents Travis Summitt and John Bradford; challenger Bryan Little.

• East Spencer mayor: Incumbent Barbara A. Mallett; town board incumbent Tony J. Hillian.

• East Spencer Board of Aldermen: Incumbents John G. Noble III, Curtis B. Cowan and Deloris V. High; challengers Shawn P. Rush, Travis Carter and Albert J. Smith.

• Faith Board of Aldermen: Incumbents Brian G. Campbell, C.J. Moody, Randall Barger and Matt Lyerly; challenger Gary Gardner.

• Granite Quarry mayor: Incumbent William “Bill” Feather; challenger Andrew Poston.

• Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen: Incumbents Jim Costantino and Jim LaFevers; challengers James “Doug” Shelton and Mike Brinkley.

• Kannapolis City Council: Incumbents Tom Kincaid and Ryan G. Dayvault; challengers Darrell Jackson, Addul Ali, Chris Gordon and Phil Goodman.

• Landis mayor: Meredith Smith, Alby Stamey, Mark Connell and Dorland Abernathy; board incumbent Bobby G. Brown (term ends 2021).

• Landis Board of Aldermen: Darrell Overcash, Katie Sells, Ashley K. Stewart and Buddy Porter Jr.

• Rockwell mayor: Incumbent Beau Taylor; town board incumbent Chris Stiller.

• Rockwell Board of Aldermen: Incumbents Timothy Justin Crews, Chris Cranford, Chuck Bowman and Stephanie Walker; challenger Lizz Johnson.

• Salisbury City Council: Incumbents Tamara Sheffield, Karen Kirks Alexander, Al Heggins, David Post and William Brian Miller; challengers Patricia Jones “P.J.” Rick, Giannina Monzon, Ladale Benson, Gemale A. Black and John Struzick.

• Spencer mayor: Jonathan D. Williams and David Brown Doby Sr.

• Spencer Board of Aldermen: Incumbents David H. Smith, Rashid Muhammad, Sharon D. Hovis and James M. Boone; challengers Sam Morgan, David L. Karczewski, Bob Bish, Patricia Webb “Pat” Sledge, Howard H. Doby Jr., Steve M. Miller, Jason Doby and Patti L. Secreast.

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