Craig Turner is putting his name on the ballot for Alamance County Board of Commissioners. The Alamance County native is running for reelection in the 2022 primary elections for a Republican seat.
Turner started his experience with the board in February 2021 after taking the seat from former county commissioner Amy Galey, who now serves in the N.C. Senate. Since having a seat for more than a year now, he’s hoping to return with more experience.
“I've learned so much in the last year about county government — about what it can do, what it cannot do, what it shouldn't do, what it should do,” Turner said.
Turner’s reelection campaign relies on fighting for conservative values, where he plans to advocate for cutting property taxes, lowering taxes to support economic development, supporting farmers, protecting agriculture and expanding programs within K-12 schools and higher education in the county.
One of his other major initiatives is funding local law enforcement, as he believes in having well-trained officers and honoring those working in the force. Turner’s goal is to increase funding for the Alamance County Sheriff's Office by 5%.
“It's really important that we adequately fund law enforcement because we need to have adequate training and we need to retain quality seasoned deputies and senior staff,” Turner said. “The more we keep seasoned, trained, experienced law enforcement, we help drive out violent crime in the county, and that helps everybody in the county.”
Turner said his extensive career background helped him as a commissioner in his first year. He currently serves as a litigation and construction law attorney for Fox Rothschild and was a former assistant district attorney for Alamance County in 2017. He is also a veteran, having served as a former naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy from 1995 to 2003.
“Those skills of problem solving, and also advocating for a particular position among the other folks who need to make decisions either on staff or with others on the commission, is helpful,” Turner said. “I have a sense of focus. When I need to focus on a particular thing that is important to the county… sticking to something that is a priority, and making sure it gets done.”
If elected in 2022, Turner is also hoping to help establish a mental health crisis and substance abuse diversion center in the county. Working closely with the sheriff’s office, Turner said this center will help those with mental issues get the help they need instead of facing detention if arrested.
“I think so many people have a connection with people in their lives who have either mental health issues or substance abuse issues,” Turner said. “It can go a long way to helping folks in the community.”
Turner’s relationship with Elon University is also another area he is highlighting in his campaign. His connection with Elon goes back more than a decade — he graduated from Elon School of Law in 2010 as part of the school’s second class and his parents are alumni of the university.
In this election, he’s hoping to get the attention of the younger generation in the county, especially the Elon community, since he hopes to inspire them to be more involved with community issues.
“I think it's beneficial to have an elected commissioner who cares about the university, who values relationships with the university,” Turner said. “As an Alamance County native, I realized that most students at Elon University are not going to stay in Alamance County, but I would love it if more students would think about that.”
If elected again, Turner will continue his duties as a commissioner of adopting an annual budget for the county, establishing the tax rate, appointing the county manager as chief administrator, establishing and enacting local ordinances and appointing representatives to boards and commissions.
He, of course, hopes to continue to bring conservative values to the board.
“I'm a conservative guy, so, I'm more of a limited government guy than maybe some others,” Turner said. “But I believe that what the government does, it needs to excel at work. We need to have folks who are on staff who are dedicated to that work.”