Eleven men are vying to fill three seats on the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners.
The May 4 primary election will narrow the race to five.
Voters in the Republican primary will select three candidates to run in the Nov. 2 general election.
The local Democratic Party is fielding only two candidates for the three seats, so there will be 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 who will be nominated May 4.
All three available seats are four-year terms.
Board members Coy Privette and Grace Mynatt are not seeking re-election. That leaves board chairman Jay White as the only incumbent running to retain his seat. The seats occupied by vice chairwoman Liz Poole and board member Bob Carruth seats will be open for election in 2012.
An Observer questionnaire asked candidates about incentive packages for businesses, job creation and residential growth management.
Candidates also discussed the $6.2million shortfall expected in the county budget for fiscal 2010-11, which starts July 1. Among other moves, that prompted the county to eliminate 76 jobs in February.
A 2009 court ruling narrowed the county's revenue stream by declaring the county's adequate public facilities ordinance unlawful.
The APFO had collected $6.4million for school construction through fees charged to developers of new subdivisions. The fees were charged if the public infrastructure (such as sewer, roads or schools) was not adequate to serve the number of people who would inhabit the new subdivision.
The commissioners also will grapple with unemployment in the county, which reached 13.4percent in February, exceeding the state average of 11.2 percent for the same month.