Rowan Democrats discuss delegates during convention

Published 12:05 am Sunday, March 13, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Democratic Party met virtually Saturday to handle a list of annual business issues and hear from local candidates.

This convention came with a technicality: After all the business was handled, the meeting was recessed and will resume on March 19 because specific dates outlined by the state party to hold a convention did not fall on Rowan’s regular meeting date.

Local Democrat Chair Geoffrey Hoy said he put in a request for an exception to meet on Rowan’s regularly scheduled date and received permission to do so, but it was later withdrawn and the meeting will need to come out of recess to be in compliance.

The convention opened with a statement of inclusion, a moment of silence and the pledge of allegiance. More than 50 people attended.

A major piece of business in the meeting was how to handle the local delegates. Rowan County is allotted 85 delegates to the district and state Democratic conventions. The party opted to adopt a resolution to authorize the local executive committee to appoint the delegates.

Hoy said this is the most simple and inclusive way to select the long list of delegates. That list will include people who attended the convention, precinct officers, those elected to the state executive committee and others to be submitted to the state.

All those people do not have to attend the larger conventions and those who do attend will vote by proxy.

“If you are named to do that, you can personally attend if it’s an in-person convention, but you don’t have to,” Hoy told the group.

Local officers serve two-year terms, so no elections were needed during this convention.

Hoy delivered a brief report that started with a quick rundown of some of the unusual circumstances of the past year, including the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the upset Democratic Senate wins in Georgia, new legislation, the fluctuations of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and redistricting.

The party has been meeting virtually and Hoy highlighted the success of its endorsed municipal candidates, noting all but one won their contests and Al Heggins narrowly lost the Salisbury mayor contest by 14 votes.

The party adopted one resolution supporting the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Several candidates spoke at the meeting, including both Democratic candidates for Rowan County sheriff. Simon Brown and Carlton Killian detailed their goals Saturday.

Eighth Congressional District candidate Scott Huffman made his pitch as well. He ran against Ted Budd in the 13th District in 2020 and was defeated 68.2% to 31.8% of the vote. He is now running against Republican incumbent Dan Bishop.

Hoy noted Rowan County Democrats produce 20,000 to 25,000 votes statewide.

Tangela Morgan, a candidate for N.C. Senate, is competing against Republican incumbent Carl Ford in District 33. The counselor at Salisbury High School talked to the group about her bid and her local ties.

Alisha Byrd-Clark, a candidate for Rowan County commissioner, was not able to attend but Shawn Rush, her campaign manager and East Spencer mayor pro tem, spoke briefly. Rush said for the record he is also working with Morgan.

Sam Post, the other Democrat seeking a commissioner seat, was not in attendance.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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