County Democrats to get head start with festival

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 16, 2019

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Democratic Party will host its annual Family Fun Fest and Potluck from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Shoaf’s Wagon Wheel, 151 Barn Dance Drive.

The celebration will feature U.S. Senate candidates Erica Smith, Cal Cunningham and Trevor Fuller. Matt Leatherman, a Rowan County native who is a candidate for state treasurer, and Gail Young, a challenger to Rep. Larry Pittman, R-83, will also attend.

Smith will be the featured speaker for the festival.

“This is a time for candidates to speak to become better known among the Democrats in the county,” said Geoffrey Hoy, chairman of the county party.

Hoy said the fun festival is a kickoff for the 2020 election season as filing begins in December and the primary scheduled in March. Competing with the winter holidays, Hoy said the candidates will need to get a head start, and this is a good place to begin.

“Our annual gathering is more important this year,” Hoy said.

All municipal candidates in the county have been invited to attend the festival, Hoy says. They will be able to speak for two minutes each during the potluck, which begins at 3 p.m.

Hoy said the festival is intended to energize and excite voters. He has already seen increased turnout at several party gatherings this summer. He anticipates the enthusiasm will only increase.

The county’s Democratic Party will continue to host candidates, but it does not endorse candidates until after the primary. Cunningham, Fuller and Leatherman have come to local meetings to meet Rowan Democrats.

The festival will be kid-friendly, Hoy said. A corn hole tournament and crafts will be featured. Voters from different precincts will compete in a dessert challenge.

Hoy expressed gratitude to Shoaf’s Wagon Wheel for continuing to host the celebration.

The next Rowan County Democratic Party breakfast is scheduled Sept. 14 at party headquarters at 1504 W. Innes St. The guest speaker will be Chaz Beasley, who is running for lieutenant governor.