Municipal candidate forums start next week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 19, 2019

SALISBURY — Candidate forums will begin next week, with the Rowan Concerned Citizens forum on Thursday.

The forum for Salisbury City Council candidates will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Aymer Center at Hood Theological Seminary.

Council incumbents running for re-election include Mayor Al Heggins, Mayor Pro Tem David Post, Karen Alexander, Brian Miller and Tamara Sheffield. Their challengers are Patricia Jones “P.J.” Ricks, Giannina Monzon, Gemale A. Black, John Struzick and Ladale Benson.

Through a partnership with the Salisbury Post and Catawba College, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce will begin a series of candidate forums, starting with Landis from 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Corriher-Lipe Middle School, 214 W. Rice St. The Landis forum will be moderated by Salisbury Post Editor Josh Bergeron.

Bergeron will direct questions to mayoral and alderman candidates separately.

Meredith Smith, Alby Stamey, Mark Connell, Dorland Abernathy and Alderman Bobby G. Brown, whose term expires in 2021, are running for mayor. The alderman candidates are Darrell Overcash, Katie Sells, Ashley K. Stewart and Buddy Porter Jr.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10, the Rowan Chamber will host a Salisbury City Council candidate forum at Norvell Theater, 135 E. Fisher St. The forum will be moderated by Michael Bitzer, a professor and chairman of the politics department at Catawba College.

The forum was originally scheduled at a later time, but multiple candidates asked for an earlier start to prevent a conflict with the OctoberTour patrons party, hosted by the Historic Salisbury Foundation.

Additionally, Spencer candidates for mayor and alderman can participate in a forum hosted by the chamber at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Spencer Women’s Club, 100 Third St. It will be moderated by Mark Lewis, of Peoples Bank and a member of the chamber’s government affairs committee.

Jonathan D. Williams and David Brown Doby Sr. are running for mayor. The candidates for Spencer alderman include Sam Morgan, David H. Smith, Rashid Muhammad, David L. Karczewski, Bob Bish, Sharon D. Hovis, Patricia Webb (Pat) Sledge, Howard H. Doby Jr., Steve M. Miller, Jason Doby, Patti L. Secreast and James M. Boone.

For the three candidate forums hosted by the chamber, the public can send questions to The Post asks that readers include the name of the electoral race in the subject line of the email. There is no deadline for submitting questions, but they must be sent before the forum.

The chamber does not endorse candidates. President Elaine Spalding said the chamber offers to host forums for all municipalities to provide a way for the community to learn about the candidates and their platforms. She said forums are generally scheduled before the start of early voting, which is Oct. 16.

The forums are free and open to the public.

The forums will be broadcast several times on Channel 16 or Channel 32 in south Rowan County, as well as on Memories WSAT 1280 radio.

Candidates will be allowed to wear lapel buttons, but no campaign signage will be allowed at the forums.

The chamber is looking for volunteers to help during the forums. For more information, contact Spalding at 704-633-4221 or