(updated Dec. 7, 2021)
The Alexander County Board of Elections Office was busy on the opening day of candidate filing for 2022 elections, which began Monday, December 6.
Candidates filing Dec. 6 and 7 included these for partisan races: Edwin P. Chapman (D) and Lisa Hines (R) for Alexander County Clerk of Superior Court; Scott H. Hines, for re-election to the Alexander County Register Of Deeds seat; Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman (D) for re-election and Chad Pennell (R) as challenger for Sheriff; and Ronnie Reese (R) as candidate for re-election as Alexander County Commissioner.
Non-partisan race filings are: Alexander County Board of Education District 1 candidates Robert (Rob) Argüelles and Kevin Weikle, Jr.; Board of Education District 2 candidates Ginger I. Annas, Joshua (The Dags) Dagenhart, Brent Warren, and Matthew Reese; and Board of Education District 4 candidate, Christa Ballard Roseberry.
The candidates shared their biographic information and a statement about their campaigns, as follows:
Clerk of Court
• Edwin P. Chapman (D), age 25 of Hiddenite, is married to Taylor Ann Zimmerman Chapman. He is the son of Seth W. and Dianne Pope Chapman and has siblings Joshua G. Chapman and Micah A. Chapman. He is a lifelong member of Salem Lutheran Church and is a Sunday School teacher. A lifelong resident of Alexander County, reared in the Sugar Loaf Community, Chapman presently lives in the Rocky Face Community in Hiddenite. He is a graduate of Alexander Central High School and has attended and holds various certificates from: Wilkes, CVCC, Gaston, and Cleveland County Community Colleges as he completed courses required by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Chapman said Monday, “Today, I am officially filing and seeking the office of Alexander Clerk of Superior Court! I look forward to a vigorous campaign and meeting with every potential voter I can possibly contact. I am currently employed as a Deputy Clerk, having been appointed by the current Clerk, Danny T. Dyson. Mr. Dyson has announced his coming retirement and that is one of several reasons for my filing today. It is no secret that my Dad was the longest serving Clerk in Alexander County. I am my father’s son and desire to head up the operation of the Clerk’s office with the same integrity and openness that he did. With my five years of experience on the job training, I have familiarized myself with all aspects of the Clerk’s office and its function. I am prepared on day one to file whatever process comes before me from the Magistrates Court to Superior Criminal Court. More importantly, I am seeking this office to represent ALL the citizens of Alexander County! I will have a complete OPEN DOOR POLICY. Your political affiliation will have zero effect when you are needing my services. Petty Democratic and Republican Washington, DC politics will have NO part in my administration. I will use my five plus years of experience to assist ALL OUR citizens, regardless of political affiliation, race, or creed.
“It is my intention to retain current hard-working, efficient staff with over 80 years of combined experience. I will use the latest technology to file and process your case files and records, however, all the technology in the world does not replace face to face eye contact and communication. I pledge to use common sense and personal contact when helping you with your concerns, filings, and official business. I am a lifelong native of Alexander County and believe our county should have elected officials that reflect Alexander County values of helping your neighbor. I will manage this office with Alexander County values in mind. How other counties operate is their business. How Catawba and Lincoln or any other county operates may not be ideal for Alexander County. I believe elected officials should be ‘servants of the people’ and not otherwise. Again, I look forward to meeting you and ask at this time for your support in this election cycle. I ask that you let my experience work for you in the Alexander County Clerk of Court Office,” said Chapman.
• Lisa Hines (R), age 55 of Taylorsville, is married to Scott Hunter Hines with “a blended family of six kids and four grandkids.”
Mrs. Hines noted that “I am running for Clerk of Superior Court because I think it is one of the most important local government offices and my background and expertise makes me highly qualified for the position. I have extensive experience and professional skills in the paralegal field to offer the citizens of Alexander County. Since I was fifteen years old, I have worked in and about the courthouse to include the Clerk of Court’s office; and, for the past 20 years, I have worked for a leading law firm in Hickory. Currently, I am an estate paralegal, as well as a commercial and private real estate title research specialist.
“I am a certified paralegal through the North Carolina State Bar with an official paralegal number since 2006. Additionally, I am furthering my paralegal expertise by pursuing a Paralegal Associate’s degree through Liberty University and will complete my studies early in 2022 before the fall election. I have earned a GPA of 3.9 and I have been honored by being inducted into the Omega Nu Lambda National Honor Society. Moreover, Liberty University has named me to its Dean’s List multiple times. My training and education show that I am a subject matter expert in the Clerk of Superior Court field,” said Mrs. Hines.
“As the Clerk of Superior Court, my areas of focus will be as Probate Judge, administrator of the Clerk’s office, record keeping for the court, and comptroller (or receiving and distributing court proceeding monies). In addition, I want to update the Clerk’s office with regard to electronic filing (eFiling), which currently is one of the highest priorities for Clerk’s offices across the state. E-Filing allows for better record keeping and can help attorneys more efficiently file documents with the courts.
“Additionally, the court records room needs updating and since I have conducted my law firm’s business in many other Clerk’s offices throughout western North Carolina, I have many ideas for improving the housing of these important records. I believe my personal character, conservative values and nearly 40 years of professional experience makes me the best person to be your next Clerk of Superior Court. I humbly appeal to you to support me in my bid to serve the people of Alexander County,” Mrs. Hines concluded.
Register of Deeds race
Scott Hunter Hines, Republican, age 59 of Taylorsville, is married to Lisa Kale Hines with “a blended family of six kids and four grandkids.” He is seeking his second 4-year term as Register of Deeds.
“I was elected by the people to serve as Register of Deeds in Alexander County in November 2018. Since that time, I have been very busy trying to provide the very best vital record and land records services that are available. I moved the Register of Deeds office from its longstanding location in the Old Post Office next door to the courthouse to its current location in the Alexander County Services Center in May of 2019. This is the former Trio Building or bank building as some remember it. It was fully renovated in 2019, thanks to the Alexander County Commissioners.
“Going along with the new renovations, I have begun an effort to update many of the old and worn out cabinets and storage containers for the perpetual storage of Alexander County vital and land records. We had nearly run out of plat cabinet storage, so I updated the old accident prone plat cabinets, consolidating storage space to provide years’ worth of future plat/map storage for the county. Also, I obtained a larger storage safe for the military discharge papers, which are under greater requirements for security than the other public records in the office. This new safe can also store other valuable items, such as security paper and embossing seals. Much like the plat cabinets, the old military discharge cabinet was small and jam-packed; the new safe allows for expansion and storage for future veteran’s valuable discharge papers. Additionally, the military record books stored in the safe were deteriorating and so I’m in a project to update and fully refurbish these important records for our county veterans.
“In the field of technology, I implemented a Marriage Kiosk in the office for prospective couples to use to input their data for their marriage licenses. The Marriage Kiosk has an online counterpart where couples can input their information from a mobile device or home computer. Additionally, I started a PropertyCheck system in the office to warn Alexander County residents of potential fraud with regard to their real estate. If someone signs up for PropertyCheck at my webpage, they will be warned when someone records an instrument in my office with their name on it. Then they can take appropriate legal action to guard that their property is not compromised.
“I have strived to make the protection and preservation of Alexander County vital and land records the very best. I want to continue to move the Register of Deeds office forward and continue on the improvement projects that I have begun. I would appreciate that the citizens show me a vote of confidence and re-elect me to the important position of Register of Deeds,” Mr. Hines stated.
• Chris Bowman, Democrat, age 70 of the Wittenburg Community, filed Monday for re-election as Sheriff. He and his wife, Elizabeth Bowman, have two adult children, Douglas Bowman (Amanda Bowman) and Amy Palmer (Larry Palmer), and two grandchildren, Kasi Palmer and Colten Bowman.
Bowman has served three under three sheriffs, Tom Bebber (in office 1970-1990), Ray Warren (1990-2002), Hayden Bentley (2002-2009). Bowman has served as Sheriff since 2009.
“If re-elected, I will continue to combat the Alexander County war on drugs by increasing the number of officers and K9 Units, along with upgrading technology and working together with our local, state, and federal agencies. I want to push to keep DARE programs in schools and increase the number of School Resource Officers and K9 Units present in all schools. Due to the continuously growing sheriff’s office call volume, increasing the number of deputies on the road, 911 communications staff, and detention center is a priority if I am re-elected, along with increasing the pay of these individuals. By upgrading the technology of these officers (body cameras, car cameras, etc.), the level of safety for our officers and citizens is increased, along with the accountability of these officers. These technology upgrades are something I would like to spread office-wide.
Bowman added, “One of my main goals is not only to serve and protect the citizens of Alexander County, but to also be an aid for the citizens by upholding my open-door policy and to upgrade, expand, and educate the community on these outreach programs and their accessibility to these programs. Because I am a lifelong citizen of Alexander County and have served Alexander County for going on 42 years, I am running for re-election for Office of Sheriff because I have come a long way in making advancements within the office, but there are many more advancements that can continue to be made. Serving and protecting the citizens of Alexander County has always been, and will always be a life-long mission of mine.”
• Chad Pennell, Republican, age 50 of Ellendale, is married to Deanna Pennell. They have two children: BreAnna, age 15, and Cole, age 13.
A 1989 graduate of Alexander Central High School, Pennell earned an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. His work experience is a veteran North Carolina Army National Guard, 6 years; Alexander County Sheriff’s Office road patrol, 5 years, investigations, 15 years, and administrative, 8 years. He retired with 30 years service in November 2020, his entire law enforcement career served in Alexander County.
Pennell is cross sworn with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and United States Marshals to combat drugs in Alexander County and surrounding counties.
Mr. Pennell stated, “As your Sheriff I will:
1) Engage the community. I will seek community involvement and partnerships, including feedback and conversations with our citizens, recognizing that I cannot do this alone. Leadership comes with being a servant of the Office and the citizens.
2) Renew county relationships. By operating openly and transparently, we build trust with the community, including relationships with County Government, county leaders and the citizens.
3) Combat the drug problem. We will tackle the drug problem in our community head on with a proactive approach, including accountability to our citizens. We will enhance our current D.A.R.E. program in our schools and establish an educational program for parents/legal guardians with the Alexander County First plan.
4) Establish a career development plan for the staff. We will seek opportunities for training, often free, establish a bonus/incentive program, to benefit our officers at no additional cost to taxpayers.
5) Restructure current staffing. I will dedicate additional officers to serve on the road patrol and detention center to decreasing response time to the citizens and reducing crime for businesses and homeowners by being proactive, not reactive. Less politics, more service.
Pennell related, “Once I retired, I realized that I still have so much to give back to a county that has shaped me into the person I am today. I want to do my part to make Alexander County the best place to live and raise a family. I do not take this opportunity lightly. With much prayer I believe that this is the plan that God has for me. I will accomplish all of these things with your prayers, trust, and your vote in November 2022.”
Ronnie L. Reese (R), age 63 of the Wittenburg Community, filed Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 7, for re-election to the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. His biographical information and statements will appear in next week’s issue.
Board of Education
• Robert (Rob) Argüelles, 54, is a sixteen-year resident of the Wittenburg Community. Rob was born in Lima, Peru. His family immigrated to the USA in 1979 as the country of Peru began to radically shift toward Marxist Communism across its political, economic, and educational systems. Rob is a proud citizen of the United States.
Argüelles graduated from high school in Fairport, NY where he excelled athletically having achieved All American status in swimming. He attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia on both a swimming and academic scholarship and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Dynamic Systems and Controls.
After graduation, Argüelles has lived and worked throughout the world while performing various executive roles in the Automotive, Electronics, and Warehouse & Distribution industries. He is fluent in both Spanish and German.
Argüelles is the father of Brennen, 15, a sophomore at Alexander Central, and Keira, 11, a sixth grader at West Middle School. The Argüelles’ are members of Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory.
“I was not born in this country or this county, but I got here as soon as I could. I love this area because I share its values of faith and family and consider it the best place in the world to raise children. My children are special to me just as yours are to you. I want to serve on the school board to assure that our schools will be safe, will best prepare our children for the present, and will give them the toolsets to successfully compete in their futures,” Argüelles said.
“I want to give back to this county in general and to my community in particular for the kindness and acceptance they have shown me by using the skills I acquired in my corporate career to help drive a culture of Safety, Sustainability, Accountability, and Excellence in our school system. I ask for and will be humbled to receive your vote,” Argüelles concluded.
• Kevin Weikle, Jr., age 37, of Wittenburg, is married to Abbie Weikle with four children.
Mr. Weikle stated, “I would like to be proactive with steering the school board in a new direction through constructive debates, and ending with decisions that always put the children of this county first. I am a member of Authentic Church of Viewmont. I have been a firefighter and EMT for Wittenberg for 12 years. I’ve been employed with Crossroads Grill for 22 years. My wife and I are licensed foster parents with Alexander County. I love serving my community.”
Board of Education
• Ginger I. Annas, age 62 of Wittenburg, is married with three children and seven grandchildren. She said her goals, if elected, are:
1) Promote open dialogue between school board members, administration, and parents/taxpayers.
2) Make sure any public comments at board meetings are addressed and responded to before or at the next board meeting
3) More focus on education and not so much on social learning. Back to the basics.
4) Transparency in the curriculum, what is being taught and what the children are being exposed to
5) Make sure parents are made aware of anything that may seem controversial or any new information prior to it being presented to children
6) Offer parents an opportunity to opt out of anything that goes against their beliefs or is intrusive; and
7) Parents’ choice and opinions should always be considered.
“I am running for school board because I feel many parents (myself included) have become complacent and have assumed that children were being taught like they were in the past, which is no longer the case. Children are being exposed to much more than the basics of education. I feel it’s time for people to stand up, step up, and speak up for our children. They are, after all, our future leaders. We need to make sure that every child has the opportunity and skills to succeed.
“I did not make this decision without a lot of prayer, discussions with my family, and lots of soul searching. I have lived in Alexander County all my life and all the citizens are very special to me, but two groups that really have my heart are the veterans and the children,” Mrs. Annas stated.
• Joshua (The Dags) Dagenhart, age 42 of Taylorsville, is married to Jessica Dagenhart. They have three children: Rakin, son, age 13; Reese, daughter, age 9, and Rachel, daughter, age 6, who all attend Alexander County Schools. He stated:
“I was born and raised in Alexander County and I, too, attended Alexander County Schools. I am 42 years old. I am a Graduate of Caldwell Community College and received an AAS Biomedical Engineering Degree. I went on further to receive a BS Business Administration Degree from Gardner Webb. I have worked in Women’s Healthcare since 2006 and am currently an AI Solution Architect Manager at iCAD, Inc.
“I am officially announcing my intention to seek a position, for District 2, on the Alexander County School Board. I would appreciate your prayers, consideration and vote.
“My Mission Statement: Our posterity requires that our students and staff members are provided a safe learning environment. Safe from violence, and safe from condemnation of ideas and beliefs. Staff must be provided the necessary resources to maximize learning experiences and be placed in positions to succeed based on their talents and abilities. Invaluable resources such as parental participation, and community partnerships will continue to be built upon in order to meet our full potential. Our goal is to foster an atmosphere where critical thinking is promoted.
• Brent Warren, age 60 of Taylorsville, is married to Monique Holland Warren. They have three grown children: Kelly (Tina) Warren, Leticia (Mike) Dye, Weston (Krysta) Warren, and nine grandchildren and one on the way: Talan, Meleah, Eden, Willow, Sophia, Nora, Mason, Iris, Camilla, and baby boy.
Mr. Warren stated: “As a school board member, I want our students to benefit from an education that is based on facts and information that is free from political agendas. My goal is to be actively aware of what is being taught in our schools and to have access to curriculums, library books, and the purpose of each social club. A school board member should be in the schools working with administrators, teachers, and students in developing a successful, safe, positive learning environment. Clubs should promote values that enhance a positive learning environment. I will be diligent in learning as much as I can about what our students are being taught and listen to teachers and parents, as we should all work together in cooperation for the sake of our students.
“I want our schools and students to reflect the values of the community and start excelling in the areas of math, English, history, and science. I promise to challenge and investigate programs and new ideas that administration brings to the table and make informed decisions that best meet the needs of the students of Alexander County Schools. I also feel that parents should be involved in their children’s education. They should know that when they bring concerns or requests to school board members, the concerns will be addressed, not ignored,” Warren said.
• Matthew L. Reese, of Taylorsville, filed Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 7. His biographical information and statements will be in next week’s issue.
Board of Education
Christa Ballard Roseberry, age 51 of Hiddenite, is married with two children.
Roseberry stated, “I want to restore a common sense approach to education that emphasizes traditional skills, such as reading, writing, and math to ensure that students can succeed in their future career choices.”