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July 01, 2022

Candidate list grows with new filings


The Alexander County Board of Elections Office has had new candidates file for local offices since the State officials reopened filing for the 2022 election last week.

Four candidates filed so far during the second period as of March 2: Andrew Latchford, for the Alexander County Board of Education District 1; Matt Cooksey, for re-election to the Board of Education District 2; and Anthony McLain, for Board of Education District 4; and Larry G. Yoder (R), for re-election to the Alexander County Board of Commissioners.

Candidates who filed Dec. 6-8 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) and Marty Pennell (R) as candidates for re-election as Alexander County Commissioner.

Non-partisan race filings from Dec. 6-8 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, Matthew Reese, and David Odom (incumbent); and Board of Education District 4 candidate, Christa Ballard Roseberry.

Candidates who filed during December gave biographical details and campaign platforms in the Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 issues of The Times.

The candidates who filed since February 24 were asked to submit information about themselves. Their responses are below:

• Andrew Latchford, age 49 of Bethlehem, is a candidate for School Board District 1. Latchford and his wife, Monica, have 5 children: Seth, Nick, Noah, Evan, and Kendall. Nick is a graduate of ACHS and the last three are currently students in Alexander County Schools.

“My goals and rationale for running — since moving to Bethlehem, I’ve had one son graduate from ACHS and have three more children currently enrolled, so I care about what happens within our county schools. When I heard that our current District 1 board member might not seek re-election, I decided it was an opportunity for me to step into an office where I could use my educational experience, do something positive for the students of Alexander County, and serve my local community.

“I’ve worked in public schools for over 17 years, as both a teacher and administrator, so I have a broad understanding of the laws, goals, and policies that have shaped our system as well as the reality that exists within school buildings.

“My goals, if I’m elected, are to ensure Alexander County maintains a focus on growth and program development. I want to ensure that parents’ concerns are heard and given appropriate attention. I want to guarantee that we continue to develop and retain high quality staff and that we continue using revenues and other resources in a responsible manner. I want our policies and procedures to be tailored to Alexander County’s unique needs and desires. Finally, I think it is imperative that residents can trust that the School Board will do what’s in its power to give our graduates a reputation of preparedness for life after school and future success.

“I will be hosting small get-togethers and canvassing District 1 residents to hear their concerns, answer their questions about my candidacy, and develop lines of communication that I would hope to maintain if elected. I’m also willing to schedule meetings with churches and organizations leading up to the general election this November.

“God bless Alexander County and God bless the U.S.A.!” said Latchford.

• Matt Cooksey, age 56 of Taylorsville, is running for re-election to the Alexander County Board of Education in District 2.

He serves as Director of Alexander County Habitat for Humanity. Cooksey is married, with one child who is now at UNC-Asheville. He has served one term on the Board of Education.

“After one term, I have learned to expect the unexpected. Who knew a pandemic was looming? My philosophy is to do what is best for the students, the teachers, and the families. This means to learn what I need to know, to ask questions, to listen to all the points of view, and to seek out creative solutions to promote the school community’s well-being and success. This is not always the popular way, but to do your best to ensure a quality education and workplace is always the right way,” said Cooksey.

• Anthony McLain (not pictured), age 44 of Hiddenite, filed on the morning of March 2 for the Board of Education District 4 seat. (His biographical information and platform issues will appear in our next issue.)

• Larry Yoder, age 70 of Taylorsville, a Republican, is running for re-election to the Alexander County Board of Commissioners.

Yoder is Transportation Supervisor at Zenith Global Logistics. He is married to Hazel Yoder. He has one son, Alex (A Y) Yoder; step-son, Alex Godwin and his wife, Emily; a step-daughter, Julia Vaughan and her husband, Brian; and grandchildren Ava and Jackson Yoder, Rachel and Michael Vaughan, and Breckon and Rhys Godwin.

Mr. Yoder is a graduate of Lincolnton High School and attended Western Carolina University, Gaston College, and Catawba Valley Community College.

He is a member of First Baptist Church in Taylorsville.

“I have served four terms as Commissioner — three terms from 2004 to 2016, and was elected in 2018 for fourth term. I have served as Chairman in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2021, and Vice Chairman in 2013 and 2020,” Yoder said.

“I would like to continue to work on infrastructure and see the projects we are working on at this time completed. There are many needs in our county and as we continue to work on broadband, water, and sewer, we can continue to expand these services as people hook onto them. We have completed sewer project to Stony Point School and people along the line have hooked on. Also, the sewer project in Bethlehem has been completed. The plans for Wittenburg Access Area in Bethlehem with Duke Energy will add a swim beach, bathrooms, picnic area, and a hiking trail. Alexander Courthouse Park will open May of 2022, which will be a great asset to downtown Taylorsville. There are a number of projects, water, broadband, parks, and events, that are going to be opening and being completed in 2022 — an exciting time in Alexander County as these projects continue. Alexander County is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I would not live anywhere else! This is a beautiful county and to see it grow and the beauty that this county brings to our lives each day is a blessing.

“I serve on the Western Piedmont Council of Government Executive Board, Transportation Advisory Board, Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame Committee, the Library board, Courthouse Committee, CVCC Alexander Advisory Board, WPCOG Sister Cities Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and Alexander County Historic Preservation Committee.

“It has been my distinct honor to serve the citizens of Alexander County and, with your support, I would consider it an honor to serve the citizens of Alexander County for four more years,” said Yoder.

He is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Yoder successfully completed the Advanced Leadership Corps at the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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