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March 05, 2024

County Commissioners seek re-election in 2024

Incumbent Republicans Kent Herman, of Ellendale, and Josh Lail, of Bethlehem, have filed for re-election in the 2024 Election as Alexander County Commissioners. Herman filed Monday and Lail filed Tuesday.

Kent Herman, age 66 of the Ellendale Community, was elected in 2022 to fill the remainder of the late Jeff Peal’s unserved term. Kent is married to Martha Reid Herman and has three children: Tiffany Stephenson, Stephanie Wright, and Colby Herman. He has six grandchildren and is the son of the late Ned and Kay Herman. Mr. Herman is a lifelong resident of Alexander County and is a conservative Republican.

Herman has served on the Alexander County Soil and Water Board for more than 23 years, the National Milk Producers Federation Board in Washington, D.C. the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Board in Kansas City, Kansas, and is the current chairman of the Southeast Council of DFA and is on DFA’s executive board. DFA is the largest dairy co-operative in the United States.
Kent along with his late brother, Rodney, and his late father, Ned Herman, has operated Herman Dairy Farm, Inc., since 1979. He also operates a beef and poultry business and H&H Arena along with his son and son-in-law. He is a member of Mt. Herman Baptist Church and a partner of Country Grace Church.

Herman said he is committed to not raise property taxes and to spend the taxpayers’ money conservatively and wisely.

Fellow incumbent Republican Josh Lail, age 46 of Bethlehem, is married to Mollie Boan Lail. Their children are: Hannah (22), Haley (20), Lizzie (14), Lawson (13), Grant (7), Barrett (5), and Junie Kate (3).

Lail has served on the Alexander County Board of Education for two terms (2004-2012) and as an Alexander County Commissioner for two terms (2014-2018 & 2020-2024).

He said the following, “If I’m re-elected to the Alexander County Commission, I want to continue working to improve Alexander County. Over the two 4 year terms I’ve served as a County Commissioner, a lot has changed in Alexander County. Our population numbers have not changed a great deal. But, our county has experienced major changes. As a parent and tax payer, I am concerned about the School System experiencing a financial crisis due to declining enrollment and lack of fiscal responsibility. I worry about property values having increased dramatically and unheard of inflation affecting everything or families purchase or pay for. I worry about how much we have to pay for our property taxes due to the small, rural nature of our county. I worry how these and many other issues affect every citizen in our county.

“I have learned that no matter how much I want it to, government does not move quickly. That includes learning to be an effective Commissioner. With my previous and current tenure as a Commissioner, I feel I now possess the experience and knowledge needed to be a very effective commissioner. I feel I have earned the respect of my peers as evidenced by being voted Chairman of the Alexander County Commission for 2024 this past Monday night.

“As an Alexander County Commissioner, I have been part of some very positive changes and improvements including: water and sewer expansion, broadband internet expansion, construction of Rocky Face Park, Courthouse Park, the Alexander County Services Building in Downtown Taylorsville, improvements at the Health Department, expansion of the Senior Center, expansion at the AC Industrial Park, and more.

“In business, I was taught, efficiency is making the most of your resources to produce a profitable product or service. Governments, even local governments, need to learn a lesson from the private sector. That lesson is how to be more efficient. As the owner of a local business for over 20 years, I understand processes and procedures to help Alexander County operate more like a private business to reduce waste. I want to see Alexander County continue to provide better services while being more efficient with the revenues it collects from us citizens. I am proud of the current County Commission taking steps in the right direction. But, there is still a long way to go, in my opinion,” Lail continued.

“The Commission is finally achieving marked gains toward reducing unnecessary spending in several areas. The County has reduced the number of employees in several departments without laying anyone off or negatively affecting county services. We are watching the budget and spending more closely than ever before. One thing I’m most proud of is the current board’s willingness to think “outside the box” to find ways to make AC better. I hope to continue working toward streamlining the Alexander County government to run more like a private business with less waste and more efficiency.

“My parents were very deliberate in modeling service to others and our community. Community service was seen as not only an opportunity, but an expectation. Even-though my dad has passed on, I can hear him quoting the last line of the Jaycee Creed. “Service to humanity is the best work of life.” If given another opportunity to serve as an Alexander County Commissioner I look forward to serving every citizen of Alexander County to the best of my ability,” Lail concluded.

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