Political Notebook: Foundation recognizes Ford for conservative voting record

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2022

RALEIGH — The American Conservative Union Foundation has recognized Rowan’s and Stanly County’s Sen. Carl Ford as one of the top 15 North Carolina lawmakers for “conservative excellence” based on his voting record.

The organization based its rating on about 70 North Carolina bills in 2021 related to health care, government integrity, transparency, energy, environment and property rights. Some of those bills include ending the governor’s shutdown of restaurants, reigning in the governor’s emergency powers, expanding school choice, broadening pharmacists’ authority to administer vaccines, ending the federal supplemental unemployment benefits and allowing concealed carry at churches associated with educational programs.

Ford, a Republican representing District 33, placed No. 15 among all 170 House and Senate members. He’s been rated for nine years, receiving a cumulative rate of 92%, including 36 votes on the aforementioned issues cast in 2021. He received that same score for his voting record in 2021 and was recognized for “conservative excellence.”

“I’m honored and proud to receive the conservative excellence award every year since I’ve been in the North Carolina Senate and House,” Ford told the Post.

Rowan County’s other lawmakers were recognized for “conservative achievement.” Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican representing District 76 comprising Rowan County, placed 60th, receiving a lifetime rate of 85% over the last 11 years. He scored 88% for 2021.

Rep. Julia Howard, a longtime Republican representing parts of Rowan and Davie counties in District 77, placed 71st this year, with a lifetime rate of 83% over 11 years. She scored an 88% in 2021 for 40 votes she cast.

Rep. Wayne Sasser, a pharmacist who represents parts of Rowan, Stanly and Cabarrus, placed 84th, with a lifetime rating of 82% and 92% for 2021. If re-elected, Sasser will no longer represent Rowan as part of District 83 following the 2022 election.

Overall, the report rated all 28 Senate Republicans with a 94% for 2021 and all 71 Republican House members with 81%. The state, overall, was rated 63%.

The American Conservative Union says it will invite a large delegation of North Carolina legislators to receive awards for their conservative voting records at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, which takes place Feb. 24-27. To earn an invitation, the lawmaker must have received a rate of at least 80%.

“North Carolina’s Republican legislators rank among the most conservative in the country, according to just released voting record analysis from ACUF’s Center for Legislative Accountability,” the American Conservative Union said in a statement. “Lawmakers received high marks for fighting to combat Gov. Roy Cooper’s excessive COVID-19 shutdown policies and for their efforts to try to advance conservative legislation relating to election security safeguards and school choice.”

For more information on how North Carolina scored, go to ratings.conservative.org/states/NC.

Rowan Board of Elections reminds voters Board of Education filing doesn’t begin until July

In response to an influx of interest in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education race, the Board of Elections is reminding voters that filing for that office begins in July.

Filing for the Board of Education is scheduled to begin July 22 at noon, with filing ending on Aug. 19 at noon. The filing fee is $5. Terms are for four years.

There will be five seats on the ballot out of seven total seats, including the North, South, West, Special and Southeast seats. Incumbents currently holding those seats include Kevin Jones, Dean Hunter, Travis Allen, Jean Kennedy and Lynn Marsh. Marsh was appointed to fill a seat vacated by Susan Cox, who served less than a year after re-election in 2020 and resigned to move to Guilford County.

Allen, an investigator with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, is running for Rowan County Sheriff in the 2022 election. If he’s unsuccessful in the primary, he may be able to file for re-election to school board. Alisha Byrd-Clark, who represents the Salisbury seat, was elected to the board in 2020 but has since declared a run for Rowan County commissioner in the 2022 election. Clark’s term is set to expire in 2024, meaning an appointment will be made if she’s successful.

The Board of Education race will be held during the general election in 2022.

The tentative 2022 primary election is scheduled for May 17, but the deadline to make any registration changes in order to vote in the primary is April 22. Registration changes, such as to addresses, names or party affiliations, can be made by contacting the elections office at 704-216-8140, or by stopping by at 1935 Jake Alexander Boulevard West. Voters can check their registration at vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup.

Sen. Ford appointed to committees in the General Assembly

In addition to his current roles, Sen. Carl Ford, a Republican representing parts of Rowan and Stanly counties, has been appointed to a number of interim committees for the 2022 legislative session.

Ford will co-chair the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government. He will serve as a member of the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, the Municipal Incorporations Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on Local Government and the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee.

For the 2021 legislative session, Ford chaired the Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology Committee and the State and Local Government Committee. In December 2020, Ford was elected to serve as the Republican joint caucus leader after an unanimous vote among Senate Republicans. Ford will remain part of these committees as well, with his term expiring at the end of the 2021-23 biennium.

He is, however, up for re-election in 2022, and has since filed.

Rep. Harry Warren, a Rowan County Republican, told the Post he has not received any additional appointments from House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican representing Cleveland County in District 111. Leaders in both chambers appoint members to various committees and commissions.