More join sheriff’s race, Rowan County lawmakers file for re-election on second day of filing

Published 7:59 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — A few more local Republicans threw their hats into the race for Rowan County sheriff on Tuesday during the second day of candidate filing, and more of the county’s current lawmakers also filed for re-election.

Candidate filing for the 2022 election began Monday, with former state trooper and current school resource officer Tommie Cato and trucking company operator Jack Eller, both Republicans, being the first candidates to file. On Tuesday, current Rowan County Commissioner and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Mike Caskey filed. Also filing were Greg Hannold, a captain with the sheriff’s department who oversees the jail, and Travis Allen, an investigator with the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Kevin Auten won’t be seeking re-election.

Former state trooper Carlton Killian is the only Democrat to declare a run for the sheriff’s race so far.

A court order from the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued Monday morning temporarily blocked the start of filing for all U.S. House, state House and Senate contests until further notice. It was a temporary stay issued by a three-judge panel related to an ongoing lawsuit that alleges partisan gerrymandering in the newly adopted districts. The ruling was overturned Monday evening by the full North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican who represents Rowan County in District 76, filed for re-election to a seventh term. He told the Post last week he wants to use his senior status to get more accomplished for his district, with work toward an Interstate 85 interchange in East Spencer as one of his top priorities to help generate economic activity in that area.

In the new maps, District 76 will cover Salisbury, Spencer, East Spencer, Granite Quarry, Faith and southeastern Rowan County.

Rep. Julia Howard, who was first elected to the state House more than 30 years ago, filed for re-election to District 77, which encompasses parts of Rowan and Davie County. With the new maps, District 77 would comprise the northwestern portion of Rowan County and all of Davie and Yadkin counties.

Sen. Carl Ford, a Republican representing Rowan and Stanly counties in District 33, also filed for re-election to a third term in the Senate and his sixth overall term in the General Assembly. Ford told the Post that election reform is among the top priorities he hopes to work toward if re-elected.

The new District 83 will include the southwestern portion of Rowan County and the northwestern corner of Cabarrus County. Though a few Republicans have announced a run, Grant Campbell, a Republican from Concord, is the only one who has filed so far.

Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican, filed to represent North Carolina’s new 10th Congressional district, which will include Rowan County. Hudson represented Rowan County until 2020, and Rep. Ted Budd has represented Rowan County in the 13th Congressional district. Budd is seeking election to the U.S. Senate to fill outgoing Sen. Richard Burr’s seat when he leaves in 2022. Budd has not yet filed for the race.

The U.S. Senate field comprises five Republicans, including Benjamin E. Griffiths from Cleveland, Lee Brian from Clayton, Lichia Sibhatu from Raleigh, Jen Banwart from Fuquay Varina and Charles Kenneth Moss from Randleman. Rett Newton from Beaufort is the only Democrat who has filed for U.S. Senate as of Tuesday.

Two Republicans from Salisbury also filed for judicial elections on Tuesday. Tim Gould filed to keep his seat as the county’s superior court judge. James Randolph for for re-election as a district court judge. Chief District Court Judge Charlie Brown has announced he won’t seek re-election after more than two decades on the bench.

No additional candidates filed for election to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, which has three open seats. Incumbents Jim Greene, Greg Edds and Judy Klusman, who are all Republicans, filed for re-election. They will be joined in the race by Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Vice Chair Alisha Byrd-Clark, a Democrat.

Other candidates who filed Tuesday:

North Carolina Supreme Court (two seats)

• Lucy Inman, a Democrat from Raleigh

• Richard Dietz, a Republican from Raleigh who currently sits on the North Carolina Court of Appeals

• April Wood, a Republican from Lexington who won election to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 2020

• Sam J. Ervin IV, a Democrat from Morganton

• Trey Allen, a Republican from Hillsborough who currently serves as general counsel of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Court

North Carolina Court of Appeals (four seats)

• Julie Tate Flood, a Republican from Holly Springs who’s seeking seat 8

• Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican from Wilson who’s seeking seat 9

• Donna Stroud, the incumbent Republican from Garner who’s seeking seat 9

• Gale Murray Adams, a Democrat from Fayetteville who’s seeking seat 10

• John M. Tyson, the incumbent Republican from Fayetteville who’s seeking seat 10

• Darren Jackson, a Democrat from Raleigh who’s seeking seat 11

• Michael J. Stading, a Republican from Mecklenburg who’s seeking seat 11

For questions about filing for office, contact the Rowan County Board of Elections at 704-216-8140 or visit its website at

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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