Election 2021: Bowman challenging Taylor in Rockwell mayor’s race

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, October 19, 2021

ROCKWELL — In the town’s mayoral race, voters will have a choice between a candidate going for 22 years in the position and a 14-year alderman who’s hoping to bring a change in top leadership.

Incumbent Beau Taylor faces a challenge this year from Alderman Chuck Bowman. The two are neighbors and like each other, but Bowman has his eyes on a few improvements in Rockwell town government. Taylor says he’s seeking another term because he’s happy with how things have gone during his tenure and people have asked him to aim for another two years.

Taylor, 79, is a retired Food Lion employee who worked for the company for 29 years. He pledged to be available to all residents of Rockwell, listen to questions and issues as well as assisting with those issues in any way possible. Taylor said he’s proud of the town of Rockwell.

“Over the years I have had the privilege to see the town grow in many ways and I like to think I have had a part of this growth,” Taylor said. “If elected, I will strive to do the best to keep Rockwell on this progressive track.”

He believes the town’s population will continue to grow, but most of that will occur on the edges of the existing town limits rather than in Rockwell’s core.

“I think it’ll look basically the same downtown,” he said.

The town is nearing completion on a new Rockwell Police Department building, which was prompted by the continued degradation by the soon-to-be former police department. That building was a sporting goods store, automotive repair shop and a laundromat before it became the Rockwell Police Department.

Taylor said the people who work for the town do “an excellent job.”

For Bowman, 68, who retired in January after working as president of Central Piedmont Fire Protection, it’s time for a change in leadership. Bowman said he wants to make plans for further in the future, provide a clearer vision for Rockwell and stop dealing with things day-to-day.

“The biggest thing is that I want to look more toward our future,” he said.

He wants to improve communication between the town and its citizens, too, saying the general public in Rockwell “have no idea what’s going on.”

Bowman says he “feels good so far” about the ways Rockwell has grown, including the Alexander Glen subdivision, but the town will need new and different types of businesses to ensure people stay in town during their free time.

It’s also important, Bowman says, that people who live in Rockwell still feel like it’s “a hometown community, a real welcoming community.”

“That’s what all of us love out there in Rockwell,” he said.

On the basics of government, including budgeting, Bowman said the Board of Aldermen is on the same page.

Taylor and Bowman won’t be the only candidates on ballots for Rockwell voters, but they comprise the only competitive contest. Running for the Board of Aldermen are Dillon Brewer, Chris Cranford, Timothy Justin Crews, Lizz Johnson and Stephenie Walker. With five seats open, all five candidates are guaranteed a spot on the board. For mayor and aldermen, all candidates receive a two-year term.

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