Dinner brings out Republican candidates
By WILLIAM KEESLER
DENTON — Saturday night’s Davidson County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner was a coming out, of sorts, for Republican candidates in this year’s elections.
Incumbents Fred McClure, Rick Lanier and Cindy Akins, who missed the dinner because of a previously scheduled personal commitment, will face at least six challengers:
* Ed Brown of Midway, an R.J. Reynolds Tobacco retiree and part-owner of a restaurant in Forsyth County.
* John Faust, a Midway barber who is the father of county Republican Chairman David Faust.
* Paul Housand of Pilot, a county GOP Executive Committee member who coordinates production and shipping at Prime Lumber in Thomasville.
* David Miller of West Lexington, finance officer for the Davidson County Schools.
* Don Truell of Thomasville, former mayor and police chief in the Chair City.
* Sam Watford of east Davidson, a paving and utility contractor who serves on the county planning board.
Watford raised some eyebrows Saturday night by distributing cards with a $1 coin attached. “Something for You, Shining and New, In 2002,” the inscription read.
The coin was intended not to buy votes but to encourage Republicans to take a card and remember its message, Watford said.
“If you’ll look at the tables, you’ll still see a lot of brochures,” Watford said. “But most of ours, people have put them in their pockets.
Ben Watford, the candidate’s brother, said they spent $500 in contributions on the gimmick.
Four seats on the board of commissioners are up for election this year. Board Chairman Larry Potts has said he does not plan to seek another four-year term. Republicans now hold all seven board seats.
The dinner also drew candidates for a number of other posts. They included:
* Sheriff: Gerald K. Hege, the incumbent, and Boyd Wayne Littleton, a former Lexington police officer.
* District Attorney: Garry Frank.
* Clerk of Court: Brian Shipwash.
* District Judge: Jimmy Myers of Mocksville and Martin Gottholm of Statesville.
* State Senator: Stan Bingham of Denton.
* State Representative: Jerry Dockham of Denton and Julia Howard of Mocksville.
* Congress: Howard Coble, the Sixth District incumbent from Greensboro, said he plans to run but was not yet ready to make a formal announcement.
The two-week filing period for candidates is scheduled to start next Monday at noon and continue through March 1.
However, filing could be delayed if the U.S. Justice Department does not approve the state’s new redistricting plan before then. A Republican lawsuit challenging the plan could also force a delay.
William Keesler can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 221, or at email@example.com.