Greene, Edds, Klusman take top spots, Sides fifth in primary

Sheriff Kevin Auten discusses his big win in the Republican primary on Tuesday night with WSTP Radio's Howard Platt
Sheriff Kevin Auten discusses his big win in the Republican primary on Tuesday night with WSTP Radio's Howard Platt

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Problems with the state Board of elections website made for a long night, but once the results rolled in around 10 pm, they signaled a major change in Rowan County politics.

Chairman Jim Sides found himself on the outside, finishing fifth in a hotly contest race for the three Republican seats that will face three democrats and at least two unaffiliated candidates in November.

Businessman Jim Greene led with 20.31% of the vote, followed by Greg Edds 16.01% and Judy Klusman's 13.98%.  Outside the top three were Johnny Love with 12.69%, Jim Sides 11.76%, Brandon Cupp10.19%, Joe Coladarci 8.16%, and Dave Roueche with 6.9%.

Edds spoke about a new spirit of cooperation throughout the county.

"Absolutely, that's the thing that is real important, that will help put jobs in Rowan County," Edds told WBTV.  "Jim Greene and I, and hats off to Jim Greene, Jim Greene and I are small business people, both insurance people with a large customer base of literally thousands of clients, we have to be relational, we have to be able to work with people or we don't have a business.

"That's what I've been trying to tell people, that I can work with anyone and I know Jim can as well," Edds added.

The commissioners meeting room was filled to standing room only for much of the night.

At one point several members of the "La Resistance" group entered the room, all wearing the now familiar red berets.

Other winners on the night included Sheriff Kevin Auten with a dominant win over Brian Kiever. Auten totaled nearly 90% of the votes cast.

Harry Warren had an easy time over Chad Mitchell, and newcomer Sandy Yon was victorious over Jason Foster and Joel Johnson in the race for the Republican ticket to face Jeff Barger as Clerk of Superior Court.

John Brindle also had an easy win over current Register of Deeds Harry Welch, Jr.

Former Judge Ted Blanton was a winner, along with James Randolph over Douglas Smith. Blanton and Randolph go on to the general election in November for District Court Judge.

Turnout was 17.87%, a little shy of the 20% turnout Board of elections Director Nancy Evans told WBTV she was hoping to see on Tuesday.