Democrats gather to hear, support local candidates

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2022

SALISBURY — At the Oct. 8 breakfast of the Rowan County Democratic Party, residents got the chance to hear local candidates talk about their platforms and to grab yard signs and support these candidates financially.

Tangela (Lucy Horne) Morgan, candidate for NC Senate Seat 33 representing Rowan and Stanly counties, brought nods and chuckles from the crowd as she explained the need to include her childhood nickname on the ballot, the result of her choice to dress up as Lucy from Peanuts for Halloween.

Morgan laughed and said that even at the age of 4, she was quite determined and decided not to answer unless called “Lucy.” Her grandmother finally relented and that nickname is still how Stanly folks recognize her.

Morgan said her determination will serve her well in Raleigh, adding that friends are sometimes surprised to see her labeled a “politician.” She is, she said, here to be a servant to her community, something she learned through example from her family and has continued to practice in her 24 years in education.

Scott Huffman is a Navy veteran now running for U.S. House of Representatives District 8. A product of Rowan County, Huffman reminded voters what could be at stake in this election: the survival of our democracy and the loss of women’s rights. Huffman promised to support all services for N.C. and called out his opponent, Dan Bishop, saying he has voted against veterans health insurance and expanding Medicaid in N.C., but voted in favor of the “bathroom bill” that took businesses and money from the state.

One of two Democrats running for Rowan County commissioner, Alisha Byrd-Clark has served on the Board of Education for six years, two of therm as vice chair.

“In order to make wise decisions for the community, a change of leadership is needed,” she said. Byrd-Clark is driven by servant leadership, committed to coalition building, and focused on advocacy.

Rowan County sheriff candidate Carlton Killian touted his 35 years in law enforcement and his expertise on the local, state and federal level as a necessary strength for this office. Killian has worked for the East Spencer Police Department, N.C. State Highway Patrol, as a Rowan County Deputy Sheriff, and as a protective security officer for the federal government. He emphasizes police training for crime prevention and reduction and sees “training, training, training,” as a proven method for officer and citizen safety.

If elected, he would be the first Black sheriff in Rowan County and noted that, “It’s been 20 years without a Democratic sheriff in Rowan County.”

The four endorsed candidates for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education race, Ruth Marohn, seat 2; Ebony Rivers Boyd, seat 4; Sabrina Harris and Jean Kennedy, seat 6, also spoke. All voters in Rowan County with RSS board candidates on their ballot may vote for five candidates, one for each of the five open seats.

Marohn seeks to help kids be successful in their future and to give teachers the support and salary they need to stay in their profession. Currently a Spanish teacher at Carson High School, she has been in education for 32 years and will be retiring this year from teaching.

Boyd, a product of Salisbury schools, has experience in elementary, middle, high school, and currently in higher education, something she describes as an asset for a school board member. “We must meet students and parents where they are,” she said, “and impact youth to go learn and return to their community and give back.”

Harris, a UNC-Charlotte graduate and mother of five children is no stranger to Rowan-Salisbury Schools. She emphasized that “We must pay attention to a child’s needs, meet parents where they are, listen to understand others, and slow down.” Harris is an advocate for children with disabilities and cannot stress the importance of reading ability enough.

Kennedy, a retired school teacher and current Rowan Salisbury Board of Education member has held the office for twelve years. Kennedy is “running for our children, their achievement and to be one part of a team with parents and the community.” A Rowan County native, Kennedy will continue to stress student achievement, teacher salaries, and the preservation of schools if elected.

Attendees were reminded of the importance of voting the entire ballot and how important the state judicial races are as well as the state Senate, US House, and U.S. Senate, and the equal importance of local Rowan offices as Democrats “Roe, Roe, Roe the vote” in 2022. The status of the Equal Rights Amendment was discussed and how to learn which candidates support the ERA  by visiting https://www.era-nc.org/.

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