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2021 Salisbury Election: Mayor & City Council

Table of Contents


Election Day is November 2
Early Voting is Oct. 14 – Oct. 30

Pick the Winners!

All Salisbury voters may vote for 1 candidate for Mayor and up to 4 candidates for City Council. The election is nonpartisan, with no party labels. The candidate for Mayor and 4 candidates for City Council with the most votes will win. The winners serve a term of 2 years. The Mayor presides at Council meetings. The Mayor and the other 4 Council members appoint the City Manager, adopt ordinances, and oversee the functions listed at the end of this guide.



  Architect and urban planner
Background:  I am seeking re-election as Mayor after serving two terms as Council Member, two terms as Mayor, President of NCLM, Executive Board of Centralina CCOG and local boards.  Working together, we can leverage our taxpayers’ resources more effectively, netting improvements in public safety, economic development, jobs and quality of life.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

1: Continue positive trend in economic, workforce development with 423 jobs and $19,000,000 in direct economic impact and $38,000,000 indirect impact. 2: Public Safety Improvement through effective funding and training and community input through Police Advisory Board. 3: Strengthen neighborhoods through revitalization and increase homeownership through innovative down-payment assistance programs.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Affordable Housing:

I have been a member of the Salisbury Community Development Corp. for 25 years.  I have provided pro-bono designs for affordable housing for low-income families to be able to own and build equity.  During this time, we have returned over $1,000,000 of equity to homeowners.

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Occupation:  Human relations and communications facilitator
Background: Wife, mom, grandmom and Army Veteran; Private Heggins started in the Adjutant General’s Corps and attained Captain Heggins in Military Intelligence. Her civilian career spans being a public school teacher, college instructor and dean, local government employee and small business owner. Heggins has served as mayor and mayor pro tem.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Top priorities are public safety, equitable access and hiring a city manager. Primary focuses are innovative practices to reduce crime, fully funding police and fire departments, increasing affordable housing, decreasing poverty, contracting with historically underutilized businesses, supporting budding entrepreneurs and selecting a highly qualified applicant to replace retiring city manager.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police/community relations:

Police accountability and community relations go hand-in-hand for reducing crime and stopping violence. I want to establish a Congress of Neighborhoods and implement the evidence based Cure Model to prevent violence. Both initiatives deepen neighborly relations, public decision making with local government, builds trust and holds police & community accountable.

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Background:  Salisbury native and Catawba graduate who is actively involved in the Salisbury community. Serves on City Tree Board, Rowan Transit Advisory Committee, and Rowan Historic Landmarks Committee. Graduated from Salisbury Citizen’s Academy, Leadership Rowan, and serves as an area director for the non-profit Toastmasters International.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Hiring a new Salisbury City Manager from a diverse pool of candidates. A fully staffed City Management team is paramount to economic development and growth. Addressing environmental issues related to silt build-up at the RSU’s pump site that results in upstream flooding at Grants and Towne Creek.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Affordable Housing:

Some members on Salisbury City Council need to stop setting the market rate which gives high cost in section 8 affordable housing. We spend more on expensive studies for affordable housing than implementation of actually investing money into our community. We become an incubator of lowering housing cost.

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Real estate broker
Background:  Trustworthy, honorable, defender and servant leader describe Jessica Cloward.  As a mother, wife and entrepreneur, she knows how important public safety and economic development are to Salisbury.  As a Christian, she understands how important God is to the city’s prosperity.  Jessica’s goal is bringing success to all of Salisbury’s residents.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Public Safety: work with our police, addressing issues with the homeless population, and even the city’s litter problem to make Salisbury safe for all. Economic Growth: attract new jobs and keep current businesses successful to provide jobs for our residents and a larger tax base to take care of Salisbury.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Jobs for youth:

I would like to work with local businesses to identify opportunities for youth and work with local high schools and colleges to identify candidates for these opportunities.

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Occupation: District administrator with NC Guardian Ad Litem Program
Background:  After 30 years of public service in the child welfare arena, with 23 of those years concentrated in management and leadership positions, I have decided to give back to my beautiful city of Salisbury.  I possess a B.A. from Wesleyan College and a Master’s in Health Administration from Pfeiffer University.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Crime prevention and safety for all citizens. Economic growth; equal opportunity for all in the area of business and job growth. Increased support for Police and Fire departments. Partnership with our institutions of higher learning in Salisbury. A clean environment, with wellness and recreational opportunities for all citizens.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Jobs for youth:

Develop partnership between schools and businesses, creating internships and experiences so that youth understand they can be successful in their careers in Salisbury rather than moving elsewhere.  Education in the areas of career building is needed: careers in medicine and technology are attainable; thereby increasing productivity and decreasing crime.

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Occupation:  Owner of neighborhood grocery and meat market
BackgroundCurrently owner and CEO of McLaughlin’s Grocery since 2017. Prior employment Special Agent with Department of Homeland Security

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

1: Crime reduction.  2: Home ownership availability and inclusion.  3: Growth of salary businesses.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police/community relations:

The Police Advisory Board would meet to review incidents that lead to arrest. The board would review the arrests to determine if questionable patterns or techniques were administered during the incident. If discrepancies or questionable patterns were discovered, the police would notify the community of any new or revised policy.

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Occupation:  Mostly retired now, some pro-bono legal work.
Background:  I am a native of Salisbury and have served on the city council for three terms and previously served on the planning board. I’m a CPA and attorney with diverse experience working in government, business, academia and nonprofits.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Number 1 is hiring a new city manager who is an experienced, creative leader. The manager is Salisbury’s “chief executive officer,” who hires the police chief and department heads. I’ll also continue initiatives like neighborhood-based policing with bike patrols and the 0% interest loan program for minority and women businesses.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Affordable Housing:

The city is investing $500,000 to $1 million each year into low-income housing initiatives:  down-payment assistance programs, home improvement programs, and neighborhood street and sidewalk improvements.  The city has approved private sector development of over 1,300 units currently under construction. I will continue to support these initiatives.

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Occupation:  Senior Account Manager, PepsiCo Frito-Lay North America
Background:  I’ve served two terms on the City Council. My experience at Frito Lay prepared me for this leadership role and taught me the importance of planning, collaborating and communicating.  I do my homework, serve ALL of Salisbury’s citizens, and believe that “putting people over politics” is crucial in making decisions.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

Enhance Quality of Life: make Salisbury affordable, healthy and sustainable. Empower Community Partnerships: utilize and collaborate with local colleges, theaters, civic groups, hospitals, historic preservation groups, health services providers, law enforcement, etc. Energize Economic Opportunity: make Salisbury attractive to new business opportunities and support existing businesses and their employees.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police/community relations:

In my four years, we’ve created a Chief Advisory board and added these positions to ensure community involvement: Human Relations Manager, Victims/Witness Advocate, City Attorney, four Police Officers, Deputy Police Chief, and Homelessness Advocate. I believe in not just saying it but proving it by investing in SPD and our community.

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OccupationPastor and federal employee
Background:  A Navy veteran. Employee with the Social Security Administration. Senior pastor of community-based church Mission House. A grassroots organizer and activist. Advocate for community youth.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

1: Address the uptick in violence.  2: Supporting and expand youth engagement projects.  3: Dismantle the historic inequities in our community.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue. Police/community relations:

Convene the city and stakeholder organizations to implement the cure violence model (which has reduced violence in major cities by 40-70%) to reduce violent crime in our community and improve community relations.

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More Information


  1. Your one vote can make a big difference in who wins a local election. How just one person voted − or didn’t vote − determined the winners in elections in 39 North Carolina cities in 2019. Your vote matters!
  2. The City Council makes decisions that affect nearly every part of your life − affordable housing, police conduct, new jobs, parks, road repair, water rates, zoning for a new grocery store (or landfill). But you decide who wins!
  3. Listen to what other voters say about why they’re voting . . .
    1. “. . . too many of my ancestors died for me not to be using my right to vote.” – Kristen Marion
    2. “. . . I want someone in city hall fighting for issues important to our community.” – Robert Dawkins
    3. “. . . city elections can be very close, so my one vote could have a big impact.” – Angelica Robles
    4. “. . . it’s not just about who’s president. Who runs local government also affects me.” – Austin Padilla
    5. “. . . not voting would be giving my power away; we must use every tool we have to be heard.” – Rena McNeil


THIS 2021 VOTER GUIDE FOR SALISBURY is produced by Democracy NC, Common Cause and Voting Matters Inc., which are not affiliated with any party or candidate. This Guide provides responses from the candidates and vital information about the voting process. Candidates were asked to address 1 of 3 specific topics: affordable housing; police accountability and community relations; or jobs for youth. For questions about voting, call 704-216-8140 or 888-687-8683. Two useful websites are and

What’s the City Council Do?

The Mayor and the four other Salisbury City Council members make a wide range of decisions affecting your life. They hire and supervise the city manager, who hires the police chief and other department heads, who all report to the manager. The Council sets policies and priorities and oversees the many functions of local government, including:

  • The Police & Fire Departments
  • Economic & Community Development
  • Anti-Discrimination Ordinances
  • Tax Rates & the City Budget
  • Streets, Sidewalks & Road Repair
  • Bus Service, Routes & Fares
  • Zoning & Building Code Enforcement
  • Affordable Housing
  • Recreation, Parks & Arts Programs
  • Water, Waste Disposal & Recycling
  • City Govt. Employee Wages & Benefits
  • Appointments to Boards & Committees

Resources for Voters – how to register, check your registration, vote by mail, locate a polling place, find a Hotline for questions. – NC State Board of Elections website with same info as above; the State Board’s Hotline is 866-522-4723. – League of Women Voters resource with candidate profiles in many cities, look up your polling place, etc. – Local voter guides and loads of information about voting.

Have Your Say!

“When we all vote, we determine our future.” – Michelle Obama

The ballot box is the one place where we are all equal: One person, One vote. Your vote is a powerful way to express yourself. Vote in every election because your future matters! 

3 Ways to Vote

1. During early voting

Salisbury voters may vote early at one Early Voting location in Rowan County: the office of the county board of elections; see the address and hours listed below. Evening and weekend hours are offered. Voting early is especially good if you have moved or have not voted in several years because your registration may need to be updated.

You can update a registration or register as a new voter during Early Voting by using same-day registration. Show the poll worker one of these with your current address: a utility bill, a bank or payroll statement, or any document from a government agency; or your NC driver’s license; or a student ID with a college document showing your address. The document may be a digital image on your cellphone.

2. On Election Day, at your precinct

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2, 2021. On Election Day, go to your precinct’s polling place between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm. See the link and phone number below for assistance. If you’re in line by 7:30 pm, you will be able to vote. If you go to the wrong polling place in Salisbury and don’t have time to go to the correct poll, ask to use a provisional ballot. If you are properly registered, it will count.

3. Mail-in absentee voting

Any registered voter may vote by mail. First, submit a request for the absentee ballot, either by using the online form at or by completing and returning a paper form so it arrives at the board of elections at least 7 days before Election Day. The paper form is at Vote the ballot sent to you in the presence of two witnesses or a notary. Fill out and sign the envelope sent to you with the ballot and return to the elections office by Election Day at 5 pm. See for details. Follow the directions carefully.

7 Tips for voting

  1. No photo ID is needed to vote in 2021. The poll worker will ask you to state your name and address and sign in.
  2. If you are not registered or have moved, register at your current address at least 25 days before the election. See to register to vote online or to download a registration form. If you miss that deadline, you can use same-day registration to register and vote during Early Voting (but not on Election Day) – see #1 at left under “3 Ways To Vote” for how to use same-day registration.
  3. Newly registered voters may need to show a form of ID if there was a problem verifying their registration; they will need to show one of the non-photo IDs listed in #1 at left or any photo ID.
  4. Any voter may get help inside the poll from a near family member (not a cousin). Voters with a disability (including reading difficulty) may get help from anyone except their employer or union agent. Voters with a physical, mental or medical disability may vote in a vehicle at the polling location’s curb (“curbside voting”).
  5. You don’t lose your right to vote if you have an outstanding war-rant, traffic ticket, bankruptcy, civil fine, or misdemeanor. No elections official will ask you about outstanding fines, tickets, etc.
  6. You may take a list of your choices inside the polling place to help you remember, but do not show the list to others or leave it. You may view a list on your cellphone but don’t use the phone as a camera; taking pictures is prohibited inside the poll.
  7. If you mark the wrong choice by mistake, ask the elections official for a new ballot to replace a “spoiled” one.

Questions? Call 888-OUR-VOTE or 704-216-8140 or visit

Where to Vote on Election Day, Nov. 2

Vote at your own precinct’s polling place on Election Day, November 2. If you don’t know your precinct, look it up at or call the elections office at 704-216-8140.

Several precincts have so few voters living inside Salisbury’s city limits that those individuals are notified to vote in another precinct’s polling place. Specifically, Salisbury city voters in Precincts 11, Precinct 15, Precinct 21, Precinct 34 and Precinct 45 should go to a nearby voting place. If you live in one of those Precincts and have not received a notice about where to go, call 704-216-8140. Best general advice: go to to find your poll (with directions) and see if you have a sample ballot for the Salisbury election.

Where to Vote Early, Oct. 14-Oct. 30

Good Choice: Take advantage of evening and weekend hours to vote early at the Rowan County Board of Elections office in Salisbury.

WHERE: County Board of Elections office, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. West, Salisbury, NC 28147

WHEN: Weekdays, Oct. 14-29, 8 am-7 pm; three Saturdays, Oct. 16, 23 & 30, 8 am-3 pm; two Sundays, Oct. 17 & 25, 1 pm-5 pm