Majority of incumbents victorious in Tuesday’s primary

Published 12:11 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with accurate information on a candidate’s ability to request a recount. As the unofficial vote totals currently stand in the Republican primary for Rowan County Board of Commissioners, Angie Spillman cannot request a recount. To determine whether the 4th candidate (Spillman) is within 1% of the 3rd candidate (Judy Klusman) in a multi-seat race, which would be grounds for her to request a recount, you add the 3rd and 4th candidate total votes and the 4th candidate must be within 1% of their total votes. In this case, Spillman would need to be within 135 votes of Klusman. Spillman received 6,671 votes, 200 votes less than Klusman’s 6,871 votes. Therefore, Spillman is not eligible to request a recount, unless after canvass on May 27 the difference drops to within 1% and then she would be eligible to request a recount. The Post sincerely apologizes for this error and any confusion it may have caused.

SALISBURY — All but two Republican incumbents were either voted back in office or will head to the general election in November following Tuesday’s primary which saw higher than average voter participation.

Primaries in the past have averaged an approximate 14% voter turnout, according to the state Board of Elections, but more than 20% of eligible voters in Rowan County voted in this primary.

Overall, positions of district attorney, Superior Court judge, two District Court judge seats, N.C. House District 83 and clerk of Superior Court were all determined by Tuesday’s vote since Republicans who won their primaries will be unopposed in November. The candidate fields for Rowan County sheriff and Board of Commissioners have been narrowed down for the general election on Nov. 8. That’s if nothing changes by the time the Board of Elections finishes canvassing by May 26, which is when the results will become official.

“Obviously the people of Rowan County think that the Republicans incumbents are doing a fine job,” said Elaine Hewitt, Rowan County Republicans chairwoman. “It’s the voters’ opinions that matter.”

Two judicial seats will change hands after November once voting tallies are certified. One county commissioner candidate has confirmed a recount request.

Chris Sease unseated Kevin Eddinger for District Court judge seat No. 1 by a margin of 204 votes, (Sease garnered 7,215 votes to Eddinger’s 7,011), an unexpected but welcome victory for Sease, a first-time judicial candidate. District Court Judge Tim Gould, who has been in the chair only since June when he was appointed to replace retiring Judge Anna Mills Wagoner, lost his bid to remain in the seat to challenger Michael Adkins.

A third district judge’s seat will be filled by Cynthia Dry, who defeated Lauren Hoben in their bid to fill the seat of District Judge Charlie Brown, who is retiring next year.

Greg Edds, Jim Greene and Judy Klusman were the top three vote-getters for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, and will potentially return to the ballot in November. Edds, current chair of the board, and Vice Chair Jim Greene topped the voters’ lists. Klusman, who earned 6,871 votes, finished just 200 votes ahead of challenger Angie Spillman, who finished with 6,671 votes.

Todd Wyrick won his bid to replace current Clerk of Court Jeff Barger, defeating fellow challenger Rebecca Saleeby.

Brandy Cook held on to return for a fourth term as Rowan County District Attorney, holding off a challenge from former Rowan County Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler. Cook thanked her supporters on Facebook Wednesday, saying she was “proud of the positive campaign that we ran that clearly resonated with voters.”

After coming into the District 83 Republican race a little more than two months before Tuesday’s primary, Kevin Crutchfield claimed victory. While challenger Brad Jenkins, the former chair of the Rowan Republicans and the pastor of Chapel Street Baptist Church in Landis, got more votes in Rowan County, Crutchfield won Cabarrus County by a comfortable enough margin to gain the nod. The final tally of precincts reporting to the state Board of Elections showed 4,333 votes for Crutchfield, 3,109 for Jenkins and 2,167 for Grayson Haff.

Read more about the results of the Sheriff’s primary here.