Salisbury candidate Karen Alexander tops cash on hand; Heggins leading fundraiser

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 13, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — In campaign finance reports due at the start of this month, Councilwoman Karen Alexander led other Salisbury City Council candidates with the most cash on hand.

Alexander’s campaign reported $10,291.60 cash on hand — money that she could spent on campaign expenses — as of Sept. 24. That’s after she raised $7,300 since July, started the reporting period with nearly $6,000 and spent roughly $3,000 in operating expenditures.

Meanwhile, challenger and Planning Board member Patricia Jones (P.J.) Ricks followed, with $5,236 cash on hand. From July to Sept. 24, Ricks raised $4,168 and spent $1,374.

The first reports were due to the Rowan County Board of Elections on Oct. 1.

Alexander said she sent mail to previous supporters en route to her donation total, but also has received donations from people to whom she didn’t send solicitations.

“I’ve been really honored that I’ve gotten the financial support from the community,” Alexander said.

Her donations included several in the $500 amount and a $1,000 check from Greg Alcorn, CEO at Global Contact Services. Alexander said the range of small donations to larger donations show not just one person or one group supports her vision. People donating symbolize an agreement of with her platform, she said. 

Alcorn also gave $1,000 to Ricks and Councilwoman Tamara Sheffield. When asked about his donations, Alcorn said they were intended to go to candidates that are positive and collaborative — who are looking our for Salisbury, Rowan County and North Carolina.

Alcorn says his support also comes with his time and ideas. Because he grew up in Salisbury and plans to stay here, he wants to help it be a vibrant, diverse, friendly and positive city.

“If I see candidates I can support in a small way, that will help us support Salisbury and Rowan County, that’s what I’m going to do,” Alcorn said.

He calls service in political offices to be thankless and often is a full-time job on top of a full-time job.

Meanwhile Ricks has been doing meet-and-greets and has talking to people in the community. Carl Repsher, Rick’s treasurer, said the campaign isn’t doing anything unique to raise money, but that people have a positive feeling about her and chose to support.

Ricks ran in 2017 for city council and came up short. For her second run, Repsher says she’s more recognized because she has made herself available in the community. Supporters from 2017 continue to offer their support, and some may be giving “a tad more,” Repsher said.

Being seen in the community is what makes a campaign successful, he says, no matter if it’s a city council race, county commission race or U.S. House of Representatives.

Mayor Al Heggins has $4,748.54 cash on hand after having raised more than $9,000 since July and spending $4,353.52. She started the reporting period in July with less than $100 in her campaign account. And her fundraising total of $9,043.61 is the most of any candidate running for Salisbury City Council since July.

Heggins said, for her, fundraising is one of the more difficult aspects of campaigning.

“I’m thankful for every donation regardless of the amount,” Heggins said. “I’m also reminded with every donation that people are counting on me to do my best and to honor the pledge I’ve made to be a true public servant.”

Heggins’ largest donations were for $500, of which there were multiple. People who donated $500 included Adam Coker, of Boone; Joan Gould, of Greensboro; and David Hake, of Knoxville, Tenn.

Council Member Brian Miller had $3,877.99 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Sheffield had $3,370.28.

Mayor Pro Tem David Post had $1,921.07 on hand. And Post said he does not accept campaign donations. Post’s sole receipt during the period was from him loaning his campaign $5,000.

Challengers John Struzick and Ginannia Monzon have fundraising and expenses under $1,000.

Gemale Black has not yet returned his campaign finance report. According to Elections Director Brenda McCubbins, the State Board of Elections will now receive the report and decide whether to issue a fine.

Candidate Ladale Benson closed his campaign committee.