Don’t be fooled. Some candidates will say anything to get elected.


If you heard a loud noise last night coming from the direction of downtown Mooresville, I want to assure you it was nothing more than the sound of a gigantic, head-turning flip-flop.

Last night, TJ Johnson, Scottie Brown, Tommy Bowles, and Travis Elliott, who all earned an F on public school support from Our Schools First, were suddenly singing the praises of the 2014 bond referendum.

I was amused, to say the least.

As the first recipient of the Iredell Republican Party’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and as a longtime commissioner, I want to make sure you know how important great schools are to our community.

I led the fight to build Lake Norman High School, and I helped bring Lowe’s Corporation to Mooresville. Every conservative should understand that economic growth and quality public education go hand in hand.

I’m not running anymore for commissioner, but I’ve been following this year’s critical primary race. Until last night, Johnson, Brown, Bowles, and Elliott were openly uncommitted to public schools. They refused to answer the Our Schools First survey, and as a result, OS1 graded them as an F on public education.

However, I’m willing to give these candidates another chance.

I’m issuing a challenge to these four: fill out the Our Schools First survey. Return it in 24 hours. Then we’ll see what they think.

Until then, I urge my fellow conservative voters to stick with the candidates who have campaigned from the beginning in support of public education. Vote for Gene Houpe, Chad Gallyon, and Ronda Hoke in the Republican primary. They will lead our county with distinction and serve us with conservative discipline. We don’t have to choose between low taxes and good schools. We can have both, and I trust these candidates to deliver.


Sara Haire Tice served as a county commissioner for 18 years. She was chair of the commissioners for 12 years, the first woman ever to be elected to the position.