Primaries pit Republicans in Cabarrus
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Sunday, May. 02, 2010

Primaries pit Republicans in Cabarrus

Tuesday's primaries in the races for local Cabarrus County offices are pretty much about Republicans.

Cabarrus Democrats still have major reasons to go to the polls, however: They're choosing nominees for a variety of state and federal offices, including candidates for U.S. Senate and House.

And everyone gets to vote in two state judicial races, which are nonpartisan.

Voters registered as unaffiliated can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary, or neither.

Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

To find out where you need to go to vote, visit www.sboe.state.nc.us/PrecinctFinder.aspx and follow the instructions; or call the Cabarrus County Board of Elections, 704-920-2860.

More information on Cabarrus County elections is available at www.cabarruscounty.us/Elections.

Along with three nominees for the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, voters in the Republican primary will choose a district attorney, a state representative and a nominee for clerk of superior court.

In the district attorney race, the primary is, in effect, the election: The nominee will face no opposition in November. Candidates are John M. Lewis and incumbent Roxann Vaneekhoven.

The Republican primary also will determine the winner in N.C. House District 82, which covers only part of the county. That nominee also won't face opposition in November.

In that race, candidates are incumbent Jeff Barnhart and Larry Pittman.

The clerk of court nominee will run against Democrat Gene Morris on Nov. 2. Voters Tuesday will choose among three Republicans: Bill Baggs, incumbent Fred A. Biggers and Jen Campbell.

Candidates for sheriff and for other seats in the state legislature also face no opposition until November.

The two candidates for two open seats in the nonpartisan Kannapolis Board of Education race, incumbents Millie Hall and Danita Rickard, are automatically re-elected.

Tuesday's primary will narrow the county commissioners race from 11 candidates to five. Voters in the Republican primary will select three nominees to run in the Nov. 2 general election.

Republicans running for commissioner are Larry M. Burrage, Jerry Conway, Phil Cowherd, Fred Eudy, Lloyd G. Morris, Christopher McCartan, Chris Measmer, Thomas K. Sheppard and incumbent board chairman Jay White.

The local Democratic Party is fielding only two candidates for the three four-year terms, so there is no Democratic primary. Jim Fulton and Rick Brown, both of Concord, will go straight onto the Nov. 2 ballot to run against the three Republicans nominated Tuesday.

Commissioners Coy Privette and Grace Mynatt are not seeking re-election.

Among the issues facing candidates for county commissioner are whether and how to offer incentive packages to attract businesses to the county; how to create more jobs; whether and how to manage residential growth; how to cope with an expected $6.2 million budget shortfall, which prompted the elimination of 76 jobs in February; and the appropriate response to a 2009 court ruling that declare the county's adequate public facilities ordinance unlawful.

As local school enrollments rose rapidly during the '90s and earlier this decade, the board sought an alternative to the property tax to raise money for school construction. It enacted the APFO to collect money through fees charged to developers of new subdivisions.

The fees were charged if the public infrastructure (services such as sewer and facilities such as roads or schools) was not adequate to serve the number of people who would inhabit the new subdivision.

The county had collected $6.4million for school construction through the APFO.

The new commissioners also will grapple with unemployment, which reached 13.4percent in Cabarrus in February, exceeding the state average of 11.2 percent for the same month.

New polling place for 01-04

Voters in Cabarrus precinct 01-04 must go to a new polling place to cast ballots this year: Hickory Ridge High School, 7321 Ragin' Ridge Road, Harrisburg, NC 28075.

Until this year, affected voters formerly had cast their ballots at the Harrisburg Fire Station.

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