Political diary: Rowan Republicans send resolution to state lawmakers calling for partisan municipal, school board elections – Reuters

SALISBURY — Rowan Republicans have submitted a resolution to state lawmakers in the county calling for all municipal elections and the school board race to become partisan.

All municipal elections in the county are currently non-partisan, which includes Salisbury Town Council and surrounding town councils. The Rowan-Salisbury School Board race is also non-partisan.

The call for partisan elections comes after local Democrats and the Republican Women’s Group endorsed a number of candidates for the 2021 mayoral election. Although the Rowan County Republican Party did not endorse in 2021, the party leadership voted to follow the Democrats’ lead and endorse municipal candidates in the future. Democratic Party Chairman Geoffrey Hoy told the Post that the recommendations for the candidates became official about four years ago.

Rowan County Republican Party Chair Elaine Hewitt said the GOP resolution was signed by the executive committee on Jan. 13 and state lawmakers are aware of those discussions. But Hewitt added that the party did not seek input from lawmakers or a pledge of support before approving the resolution.

“Members have observed that non-partisan races have become increasingly partisan, although partisanship has been around for many years,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said adding an “R” or “D” next to a candidate’s name on the ballot provides clarity, especially since it’s already a candidate. public information.

The resolution states that “county political parties and related special interest group organizations are increasingly involved in these elections” and that “clarity for the electorate is of significant importance.”

Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican representing Rowan County in District 76, told the Post that local Republicans’ reasoning “makes sense,” though he hasn’t been approached by other local lawmakers in this subject. Moreover, it does not provide for the tabling of legislation to make such changes before the start of the 2023-24 legislative session, the date of which is yet to be determined.

Warren was the only state legislator representing Rowan County to return a request for comment at the time of publication.

Warren said he’s open to talking with local Democrats about the effort. Hewitt told the Post that she expects lawmakers will have a variety of voters and groups to consider when making their decision to support this venture.

“Their reasoning makes sense, as Democrats and Republicans back their favorite candidates in our current nonpartisan municipal and school races,” Warren said. “Making elections partisan would make the political leanings of candidates more transparent to the electorate, and perhaps result in more balance and diversity in those results.”

Hoy said he has not discussed this issue with Hewitt or the Republicans and the Democratic Party has never discussed such an effort. He added that it is important to distinguish that an “approval is not the same as having a partisan election”. While a partisan election results in an “R” or “D” next to a candidate’s name on the ballot, endorsements can be used to mobilize voters and encourage their participation and provide “indicators supplements” as to where candidates stand on various policies, he mentioned. He added that endorsements are also largely based on local voters’ attitudes toward politics rather than partisanship.

The downside, he added, is the potential burden it places on “very good people who really don’t want to be affiliated with either party.” In counties with partisan municipal elections, unaffiliated candidates must collect enough signatures from voters before presenting a petition to the State Board of Elections.

“If our nonpartisan races become partisan, candidate character and experience will continue to be extremely important to local voters,” Hewitt said. “How each candidate is registered is public information. Making race partisan brings clarity to the voter.

For the 2021 Salisbury mayoral and council race, Democrats have endorsed former Pro Tem mayor Al Heggins, the Reverend Anthony Smith and incumbent Tamara Sheffield. Meanwhile, the women’s group associated with the Rowan County Republican Party has endorsed Mayor Karen Alexander as well as council candidates Nalini Joseph and Jessica Cloward. Moreover, only the Republican candidates were present this summer during a “Patriot’s Rally” organized in Sloan Park.

No second attempt to push 2022 primary election to June, says Rep. Warren

RALEIGH — Following a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper last week to push back the primary election to June, Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican from Rowan County, said there had been no discussion of a veto waiver. or alternative legislation.

Cooper vetoed Bill 605 to push back the date of the 2022 primary election to June 7 instead of its currently scheduled date of May 17. March 8 was the original date scheduled for the primary before the North Carolina Supreme Court halted nominations in December and the primary date was pushed back to May 17. The changes are attributed to pending lawsuits alleging partisan gerrymandering with the newly enacted district boundaries.

Warren was among the bill’s co-sponsors. He told the Post that there had been no discussion of a waiver of the veto or additional legislation.

On behalf of Senate Republicans, Warren Daniel of Burke County called Cooper’s veto “a pure political power play.”

“This common-sense legislation has alleviated an unnecessarily tight deadline for filing nominations and launching the electoral process,” Daniel said. “He also made the necessary changes to the calendar of municipal elections requested by the National Council of Elections. The party-line vote on House Bill 605 and Governor Cooper’s veto laid bare what redistricting litigation really is — nothing more than pure political power play.

Earlier this month, Cooper and fellow Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein filed an amicus brief in the two cases currently before the North Carolina Supreme Court regarding district boundaries adopted to ensure that “elections of State take place on fair maps and free from partisan gerrymandering. ”

A three-judge panel earlier this month noted in its ruling that the enacted districts “are the result of intentional partisan, pro-Republican redistricting,” but did not rule the districts unconstitutional.

“The trial court recognized what was evident all along, that the legislative and congressional maps were intentionally manipulated,” Cooper said. “It is wrong and unconstitutional because it robs voters of their voice and their power in our democracy.”

Stein said he hoped the court would “return power to the people” by pointing out that the state constitution prohibited gerrymandering.

“Partisan gerrymandering distorts our democracy and violates our constitution. The North Carolina constitution guarantees that the people are sovereign and that our elections are free,” Stein said. “That’s why voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

U.S. Representative Ted Budd, U.S. Senate candidate, will visit Rowan at the monthly Republican Breakfast

SALISBURY — U.S. Representative Ted Budd, who represents North Carolina’s 13th congressional district and is vying for the open U.S. Senate seat in 2022, will visit Rowan County at the monthly Local Republican Breakfast on Saturday.

Rowan County Republicans will gather at the Stringbeans BBQ in Landis, located at 1013 S. Main St., on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. North Carolina Court of Appeals nominee Michael Stading, a County Republican of Mecklenburg, will be the guest speaker, followed by the opportunity to hear from Budd. Stading has served as a judge for North Carolina’s 26th Judicial District since 2019.

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