Superior Court judge, district judges, district attorney and magistrates take oaths of office

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

SALISBURY — Most people spend the morning of New Year’s Day recuperating from the past night’s wild parties, catching up on sleep or getting started with their New Year’s resolutions.

But not for a few of Rowan County’s judges and magistrates, as well as the district attorney.

They were all at the Rowan County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday to take their oath of office. Administering the oaths for his first time was Rowan County’s Clerk to the Superior Court Todd Wyrick. He won the republican primary for clerk in May and ran unopposed in the November election. Wyrick previously spent 35 years working as a Rowan County magistrate and said he was honored to administer the oaths, especially for the magistrates.

“I’ve known most of the people in that room for many years, but it was a real honor to swear in the magistrates,” Wyrick said. “I kind of got emotional there for one minute. I was always standing on the other side. Yesterday was the first time I got to swear in the whole group of magistrates — it was really good for me. They’re always close to my heart.”

The first to take his oath was Superior Court Judge Michael Adkins, who won the Republican primary in May by defeating incumbent Tim Gould. He ran unopposed in the November election for an eight-year term.

Following Adkins was District Attorney Brandy Cook, who begins her fourth four-year term as DA. She defeated Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler in the Republican primary. Like Adkins, Cook ran unopposed in the November primary.

Next up were three of the five Rowan County District Court Judges. Cynthia Dry, Chris Sease and Beth Dixon all won their respective Republican primaries in May. Sease overcame incumbent Kevin Eddinger for Seat 1. Dry, a former child protective services attorney for Rowan County Department of Social Services, defeated Lauren Hoben for Seat 2, which was left vacant by retiring judge Charlie Brown. Dixon ran unopposed for her fourth consecutive term. 

“I am very proud of my brother. He’s stuck to his goals and doing what he wanted to do. This is his dream job,” said Kori Cairrikier, the sister of Sease who was in attendance to watch her brother get sworn in. Sease’s father was also in attendance and held the Bible as his son was taking his oath.

Lastly were the magistrates, who are not elected, but are nominated by the clerk of the superior court. Jeff Barger nominated the magistrates before he retired at the end of November. After nomination, the magistrates are appointed by Adkins, who is the senior resident superior court judge. The magistrates who took their oaths included Ben Franklin, Samuel Towne, Shavonne Potts, Sean Reid, Jeffrey Holshouser and Jefferson Morris.

Potts is entering her third year of being a magistrate after being a former Post reporter for 17 years. She said she is to continue working as a magistrate.

“I’m glad I get to continue in the same role, I’m glad at get to continue serving the citizens of Rowan County,” Potts said. “It’s nice to be able to come back and do that because your nominated and they don’t have to nominate you again. So it’s nice to be able to come back and serve the citizens.”

Reid said he was “ecstatic” after being sworn in.

“This will be going on my seventh year. I really enjoyed it, we have a great set of people and I’ve learned a lot in these seven years,” Reid said.