• 63°

Political notebook: Rowan native, treasurer candidate announces local endorsements

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — After Salisbury native Matt Leatherman filed for state treasurer, he picked up several endorsement from Salisbury and Spencer leaders.

Leatherman, who is running as a Democrat, was endorsed by Salisbury Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins and council members David Post and Tamara Sheffield. That’s in addition to Spencer Mayor Jonathan Williams and Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Hovis.

Leatherman said gaining support from local government officials has been his campaign’s priority.

“The treasurer’s office is and has to be a partner for our local governments,” Leatherman said. “The treasurer’s office is responsible for managing all of the bonds that local government, like Salisbury, Spencer, Rowan County, would issue.”

Leatherman was the policy director for former State Treasurer Janet Cowell, which sets him apart, Heggins said.

“Matt brings the experience necessary to oversee the treasurer’s office,” Heggins said. “I know Matt will get the work done because he already has, from investing in North Carolina to elevating the priority on our critical school construction needs. As a native of Rowan County, we can trust Matt to prioritize people beyond Raleigh.”

Sheffield said Leatherman has the experience and the passion to make North Carolina better.

Spencer needs a leader that understands the town’s challenges and has the willingness to work with them, she said.

“Our state’s problems can’t be solved unless we are honest about what they are and commit to bringing a broad coalition of shareholders together so that nobody is left behind,” Hovis said. “My community needs a treasurer that understands our challenges and has the impetus to work with us to solve them.”

Leatherman has two Democratic primary challengers, Rinnie Catterji and Dimple Ajmera. Current State Treasurer Dale Folwell, a Republican, is running for re-election.

Getting endorsements early in the campaign is meaningful to Leatherman.

“My campaign is gaining momentum, that we’re earning enthusiasm and energy behind it,” he said. “I am so proud and thankful to have that support at this particular stage of the campaign. It’s going to allow my campaign to really reach out to broader and broader people ahead of the primary, so that we can earn their support as voters as well.”

Leatherman said as treasurer, the department needs to parter with communities to ensure they are ready to work and ready for people to live in them, whether that involves improving schools, drinking water, roads or hospitals through bond money.

Leatherman has been listening and covering the state, traveling from Wilmington to Canton, which is west of Asheville. Leatherman says he is speaking to educators and state employees because they depend on the office for health and retirement benefits. He has been talking to local government officials because of their infrastructure needs. He is also learning about the communities of doctors and nurses.

Leatherman is open about his choice to run for office. His daughter, Josie, was born prematurely, weighing only 1.5 pounds. She stayed in neonatal intensive care for 142 days.

Because his wife, Keisha, is a teacher, his family falls under the State Health Plan, which Leatherman said Folwell is cutting back on. The Leathermans also rely on Medicaid for Josie’s medication.

His daughter’s story has a happy ending, but Leatherman knows some have ended in tragedy.

“The biggest contributions I have gotten to my campaign are not financial. They are families lending me those stories to uplift and find purpose,” he said. “I treat that very solemnly.”

The issue transcends partisanship, he says.

Because his family is a Medicaid family, Leatherman said, he will “step forward as the foremost champion of Medicaid expansion as a statewide-elected official.”

Leatherman will be slowing down his campaigning during the holidays to spend some time with his family, including his father, John Leatherman, the former chairman of the Rowan County Republican Party.



Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges


Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting


Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest


N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding


RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest


Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction


Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured


Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12


Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September


Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers


Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners


Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs


Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers


Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class


Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow


States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes


Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack


NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting


People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%


Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots


Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending