This year, six candidates are running for two available Board of Commissioners seats.
Republican candidates include Bill S. Beam, Mike Davis, Anita McCall, Martin Oakes and Richard Permenter. Adam Long is the only Democrat candidate running for a County Commissioner seat. County Commissioners James Klein and Carl Robinson have opted not to run for re-election. Their terms will expire in December.
At the May 6 primary, citizens will have the opportunity to vote for two Republican candidates of their choice. With five Republican candidates on the ballot, Lincoln County Board of Elections Director Bradley Putnam anticipates a run-off election will be necessary.
“People need to keep in mind that if they are unaffiliated and vote in the Democratic or Republican primary, they can only vote in the event of a run-off if the run-off party is the party they selected in the primary,” he said.
Therefore, if an unaffiliated resident were to vote in the Democrat primary, they would be unable to vote in the case of a Republican run-off election.
With only two available commissioner seats, candidates have been busy promoting their political platforms and qualifications.
“Business experience is necessary for one to understand the value of a dollar,” Oakes said. “I feel that county government is not spending our tax money wisely.”
A small business owner, Oakes has campaigned for a seat with the Board of Commissioners for the past three voting cycles.
“My knowledge of county government exceeds that of other candidates,” Oakes said. “I am the only candidate that has regularly attended government meetings for the past six years. I even go to the budget workshops.”
Like Oakes, Long has also shared a passion for politics for quite some time.
“I have always had a political consciousness, and I believe the best way to make an impact is by getting laws passed and changing laws when necessary.”
While this is Long’s first time running for election, he said he has been mulling the decision over for a while to ensure a commissioner position would be the best use of his talents.
Long’s platform stresses that the people’s rights must be made a priority in local government.
“If elected, I will make decisions based on the people and the people’s rights,” he said. “Right now, the county commissioners are more focused on property rights, but the people’s rights should trump those.”
McCall feels that her background in engineering as well as her extensive community involvement would be a significant asset to the Board of Commissioners. She spent 26 years in the engineering field, designing plans for the mechanical, industrial, electrical controls and civil fields.
“Everything the (commissioners) talk about has been part of my life for the past 26 years,” McCall said. “They don’t have anyone on the board with a strong engineering background. I could be that asset.”
While this is McCall’s first time running for County Commissioner, she ran for a position with Lincoln County’s Board of Education. She is currently serving her fourth year with the quasi-judicial Lincolnton Planning and Zoning Board as well as the Board of Adjustments.
McCall also believes her age, 47, and experience with social media would greatly benefit the board. McCall is the creator and administrator of Facebook pages for the Lincoln County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Lincoln Lovely Ladies and the Lincoln County Republican Women.
“If elected, I would be the youngest person on the board,” McCall said. “I’m very plugged into the community through social media. No one currently on the Board of Commissioners is very tech savvy. By being current with social media, I am very accessible to the people of Lincoln County.”
Candidates Beam, Davis and Permenter were unable to be reached for comment.