Letters to the editor: May 5

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2022

Adkins’ sense of  ‘right and wrong’ impeccable

I am writing to endorse Michael Adkins for Rowan County Superior Court judge. I know Mike well.

I have been practicing law for almost 33 years, the last 24 years of which have been in Salisbury. When I have a difficult personal injury case, I always associate Mike as my co-counsel. In my opinion, Mike is one of the top five personal injury attorneys in the state of NC. He has a vast knowledge base and he is extremely smart. He is a hard worker and I’m almost always able to reach him in his office at 7 p.m. (If he doesn’t know the answer, he will research it and find out).

His sense of “right and wrong” is impeccable and is grounded in what I would call common sense, fairness and biblical teachings. I would trust both my wallet and my wife with Mike. In fact, other than my father and my recently deceased friend and lawyer, Dick Huffman, Mike is the finest person that I know.

Please vote for Mike Adkins — he is unwaivering in his faith and citizenship. He will be a phenomenal Superior Court judge for Rowan County.

— Reid Acree


Cook works for betterment of children

Throughout the years, I have worked with a variety of programs in Rowan County for the betterment of children. I have watched Brandy Cook serve in various roles revolving around the welfare of children. Not only does she have over two decades of experience as a prosecutor, but she works to understand the people she serves. She has been faithful, consistent, and an active member of our community.

Cook has chosen to be involved as a volunteer on a grassroots level in our community. Her experiences have provided extensive knowledge and insight for the people she serves. She has been intentional to make time for the youth in our county. Her volunteer experience allows her to be even more deliberate in the courtroom when defending those who cannot defend themselves. DA Cook has implemented successful strategies to enhance working communication relationships between law enforcement and local agencies.

Cook provides logical and analytical reasoning when advocating for a cause both in and out of the courtroom. She is a problem-solver for local agencies as well as when prosecuting a case. She has a proven backbone and stands up for what is right and fair.

Re-elect Brandy Cook for district attorney.

— Melissa Thomas Shue


A Democrat for Butler

As a registered Democrat, I cannot vote in the Republican primary. I urge unaffiliated and Republican voters to vote for Paxton Butler for District Attorney.

Buter served as an assistant district attorney prosecuting the most violent offenders and with a vast majority of convictions. He convicted over 3,000 pedophiles. Safety in the community is his primary concern, with no political agenda. Butler served in the Rowan County DA’s office for several years and is well aware of problems in that office that have led to a large backlog of cases to be litigated, overcrowding in the jail, and the expense of housing prisoners for years as they wait for their case to be heard.

Butler has been serving as a criminal defense lawyer in the year since leaving the DA’s office. This has given him a broader understanding of the issues that disrupt and destroy lives while incarcerated persons wait for judgment for months and years. The current District Court calendar includes primarily misdemeanor charges with many dismissed without a hearing. This reduces the time available to deal with felonies, which are more serious charges.

One artifact of this is many plea bargains that often put dangerous criminals back on the streets with reduced charges. Butler promises an open-door policy for the public and law enforcement without the need to make appointments, unlike the current policy. His many years of experience, his insistence on justice and transparency, and his commitment to making Rowan County safer makes him the best candidate for this important office.

— Nan Lund


Hannold honest, dedicated

It is my honor and privilege to write this letter to you to endorse Greg Hannold for Sheriff of Rowan County. I have known Greg for a number of years and have always found him as honest, dedicated, and knowledgeable in all of the times that I have worked with him. The safety and security of the citizens are his greatest concern. I have recently retired after 34 years of law enforcement and I have been around a lot of officers in my time, Greg  is one of the most professional officers that I have been around. He has served in numerous aspects of law enforcement and in particular, jail administrator. The detention center is each county’s biggest liability, Greg has handled this duty admirably and is respected across the state in this position. In my opinion, this aspect makes him the most qualified person for the office of sheriff.

I urge citizens of Rowan County to support and vote for Greg Hannold for Rowan County Sheriff.

— Mark Shook


Keep Gould as judge

Rowan County Superior Court is in excellent hands since Tim Gould has been presiding there. I hear universal praise for the way he handles his court. He is “quiet” in that he does not lecture from the bench, nor does he seek to make anyone uncomfortable. He does his job in an impartial and efficient way.

I have practiced law for 53 years as a trial attorney, most of the time in Rowan County. I am a former assistant district attorney and have had my own law firm since 1980. I have tried scores of jury trials before many judges, and I have observed what I consider to be excellent judges and some that I thought ran their courtroom by putting everyone in fear or tended to lecture defendants from the bench. Gould runs his courtroom with quiet authority and civility. Civility is extremely important when someone’s liberty is at stake. Courtroom personnel and lawyers should not be afraid to do their job and should be appreciated for the effort they expend. Rowan County clerks and attorneys are extremely pleased with Gould. If you are undecided, ask any one of them their opinion.

When Gould sought to succeed Judge Anna Mills Wagoner he was recommended to the governor by over 40 Rowan County lawyers for the post. I know and respect Adkins as a friend and attorney, but he has no experience as a judge. Gould does and has shown that he has great instincts for the job. Why make a change when we have an excellent judge already? Please cast your vote for Judge Tim Gould.

— Bays Shoaf


Cook fails as an administrator

I have lived in Rowan County for six years and I call it home along with my wife who was born and raised here. I have always been active in local politics and this year is no different. I have attended our Republican forums, talked with trial attorneys and local law enforcement and have done my own research. I have learned Brandy Cook has failed the citizens of Rowan County.

I have been in management for 30 years and all the facts are telling that our DA has failed as an administrator. How did I come to this conclusion?

Cook fails at preparing trial dockets. There are currently over 15,000 backlog cases. Jurors are coming to court and nothing is getting heard. Cases are sitting in District Court for years. People are sitting in jail for years awaiting trial.

Cook has failed at training and supervising her assistant DAs. Judges are stopping court to train her staff. She is feeding her staff to the wolves. Is this who you want protecting you?

Cook fails at providing a positive culture within her office. Her administration does not attract strong people and causes seasoned staff to resign — 50% of her office has left in the past 12 months. Is this who you want working for you? I am curious to know how much court time Cook has and how many cases she has actually tried. Leadership starts at the top. In the private sector Cook would be demoted or terminated for poor performance.

Rowan County cannot afford another four years under the current DA. This is why I support Paxton Butler for district attorney.

— Jeff Horne


Hoben represents fairness

I proudly support Lauren Hoben for Rowan County District Court Judge. I want the very best for our community and know the importance of fairness and integrity in our court room. Lauren has the knowledge, principles, and desire to restore the judicial system in Rowan County.

I encourage you to educate yourself on all district judge candidates in Rowan County as I have done. I have asked many questions during personal conversations with local attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers, and court personnel. The more I have learned and observed, the more I have realized that Lauren represents fairness, strength and the highest ethical standards. She has demonstrated each of these virtues in this election campaign, but more importantly, throughout her life. Rowan County needs this type of judge in our court room.

Regardless of the actions of other candidates, Lauren has maintained the highest standards throughout her campaign. She’s solid, determined and will not be distracted by nonsense. Lauren will be an excellent judge for all citizens. Please join me in supporting Lauren Hoben for Rowan County District Court Judge.

— Melissa Eller