Two incumbents, one newcomer win election in China Grove Town Council race

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

CHINA GROVE — One newcomer was elected and two incumbents retained their seats in the China Grove Town Council race Tuesday.

Arthur Heggins led the way with 236 votes, 20.45%, while Cheryl Sheets tallied 203 votes, 17.59%, and Don Bringle earned 174 votes, or 15.08%. Brandon Linn will not serve a fourth term on town council after securing just 86 votes, or 7.45%.

Heggins will serve a second consecutive term after making history in 2017 by becoming the first African American to seek and win election in China Grove.

“I am eternally grateful for the town and the people of the town for having that kind of confidence in voting for me,” Heggins said. “It humbles me and I am grateful to the Lord that he has given me the strength and confidence and I’m thankful for my wife, as well. For the town to vote as they did, it means a whole lot to me and to my family.”

Heggins said he will use the experience he gained from his first term on council to push for infrastructure improvements.

“I hope this opens the door of opportunity for me to begin to try to influence some of the decision making and perhaps we will look into seeing if we can’t get into the area of getting some grants that we can begin to look at seeing what can happen in the community of paving and other areas that may be going lacking,” Heggins said.

Heggins said he was especially thankful to his campaign treasurer and secretary Terry Bryant and his campaign chair Jim Morton.

Sheets, who made her first foray into politics after a career in finance, said she was left almost speechless by her victory.

“I’m flattered but I’m humbled,” Sheets said. “I’m really appreciative for all the support that people have given me.”

Sheets said she believes it was her personal approach to campaigning that earned her the second most votes in the election.

“I have a special appreciation to my husband who was the gorilla on the ground for me,” Sheets said. “Our campaign was different in that we did everything face-to-face instead of social media. We weren’t sure if that was going to be a success or failure, but that was my style for me as a person.”

Sheets will be the first woman to serve on the China Grove since the 1990s.

“I’m excited about that and I think a lot of females were because I think I’ll bring a fresh perspective because I have lots of ideas running through my head on things that will be a catalyst or a jumpstart,” Sheets said.

Both Heggins and Bringle said they are looking forward to working with the newcomer on the council. Bringle applauded Sheets for campaigning extremely hard and “knocking on about every door in China Grove.” Heggins said he got to share ideas with Sheets when the two met at the polls on Tuesday and he’s excited about continuing those conversations.

While Bringle said he was pleased to see six new contenders campaigning for town council, he is happy to have retained his seat.

“I’m excited to be able to serve the town for four more years and grateful to the citizens who supported me in this election,” he said.

Bringle previously served as mayor of China Grove for 12 years and has also completed six years as a council member. He was appointed by the council in 2019 to finish the two remaining years on Charles Seaford’s term when Seaford was elected mayor.

“I honestly think, from my perspective, my experience in working with the town of China Grove over the last 16 or so years helped with me having the opportunity to be selected to serve on the council again,” Bringle said.

Josh Mullis finished fourth in the council race with 110 votes, or 9.53%, and Joey Jordan came in fifth with 97 votes, or 8.41%. Krista Moon was close behind him with 84 votes, 8.15%. Linn finished seventh followed by Gary Watkins with 83 votes and Stacy Woodward with 69 votes.