Iredell voters face five races

Iredell County voters will elect four county commissioners in the Nov. 2 general election, while longtime incumbent Sheriff Phil Redmond is running for re-election against two retired law enforcement officers.

The commissioners election involves two races: One pits four candidates for three seats; the other has two candidates running for the unexpired term of Godfrey Williams, who died of pancreatic cancer in March.

Iredell commissioners are elected countywide, not by districts, and they serve staggered terms. The third-place vote-getter in the three-seat election in November will serve a two-year term, and the top two finishers will get four-year terms.

The winner of Williams' unexpired term will serve until 2012. Republican Frank Mitchell, 70, a former Iredell County commissioner and state representative, was appointed to fill Williams' seat until the election.

Running against Mitchell for the unexpired term is former longtime Iredell County fire marshal Charles "Chuck" Gallyon, 60, a Democrat who lost a bid for the board of commissioners in 2008.

The race for the other three seats is between incumbent Republicans Marvin Norman and Steve Johnson, Republican challenger Renee Griffith and Democratic challenger Theodore Geary. Griffith beat former Republican commissioner Alice Stewart in a runoff after the May primary.

Johnson, 56, is in his 16th year on the board. During the primary he campaigned on his experience and on keeping taxes low.

Norman, 58, the first African American elected to the board, emphasized his longtime community involvement.

Griffith, 38, is principal at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Statesville and a coordinator of the Yadkin Valley Tea Party.

"We need creative leaders who are forward-thinking and won't pander to partisan politics," Griffith said at a pre-primary candidates forum. "Power does not live in the government but the people the government serves."

Geary, 66, of Statesville was the lone Democrat in the May primary and automatically became his party's nominee in November. Efforts to reach Geary were unsuccessful last week.

No Democrat has won a seat on the board of commissioners since the early 1990s.

The Republican party claims the largest number of registered Iredell County voters, at 42,534 as of Monday, according to the county Board of Elections. Democrats have 34,021, followed by 26,013 unaffiliated and 138 Libertarian.

Race for Iredell sheriff

Redmond, sheriff since 1994, will face Democrat Bill Stamey and unaffiliated candidate Robert "Skip" Alexander, 61.

Redmond, 68, touted his longtime fight against illegal narcotics in defeating Mooresville police Capt. Phil Blocker and sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mark Nicholson in the GOP primary.

Former sheriff's Chief Deputy Stamey defeated Statesville police veteran Jeff Cheek on the Democratic side.

Stamey, 67, joined the sheriff's office as a jailer in 1971, after several years as a full-time Statesville firefighter. He also served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division for three years in the early 1960s.

He rose through the ranks of the sheriff's office, working as a deputy, court bailiff, detective, civil division supervisor and chief deputy. He spent 41/2 years as a state Alcohol Beverage Control officer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He returned as an ABC officer and as general manager of the Statesville ABC store 1997-2008.

Alexander is a former 24-year FBI special agent in four states who got on the ballot after collecting the signatures of more than the required 4,037 Iredell County voters.

He has 34 years' experience in all as a police officer, FBI special agent, lawyer and reserve deputy sheriff in Mecklenburg County.

Other Iredell County races

Republican incumbent Rena Turner faces Democratic challenger Erin Mendaloff-Green for clerk of Superior Court.

Turner, 59, points to her office's achievements such as obtaining a Governor's Crime Commission grant to pay for a staff position to assist domestic violence victims and survivors in the courts.

Mendaloff-Green, 36, cites her 17 years as a legal assistant for a local law firm.

Longtime Democratic incumbent Brenda Dowdle Bell faces Republican Matt McCall for register of deeds.

Bell, 53, began working in the register's office in 1976. She was a deputy register of deeds for 14 years before being elected as register of deeds in 1990. In a campaign biographical sketch, Bell says Iredell's Register of Deeds office is one of the most modern in the state. The office provides online access to all real estate documents from the formation of the county in 1788 to the present, and started electronic recordings in 2008, she said.

McCall, 26, says on his campaign's Facebook page that he is a conservative who would "cut spending, fight fee increases and focus on great customer service."

Incumbent H. Thomas Church faces challenger Brandon Crouse for District Court judge in Judicial District 22A. The district covers Iredell and Alexander counties.

On his Facebook page, Church cites his decades of public service, including five years in his present role and, from 1987 to 2002, as an assistant U.S. district attorney and member of the Presidential Drug Task Force who prosecuted major federal drug cases. As an assistant district attorney in the 20th Judicial District from 1976 to 1987, he said, he tried cases ranging from minor traffic violations to murder.

Crouse is an assistant district attorney for District 22A who was president of the District 22A Bar in 2009 and vice president in 2008.