James Neal

Neal announces candidacy for Ward 6 seat on Statesville City Council

Posted at 8:41 PM on Jul 7, 2019

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

James Neal has announced his candidacy for the Ward 6 seat on the Statesville City Council.

A native of Cherryville and graduate of UNC Asheville, Neal is a former journalist who now works in sales. He announced his bid for elected office on Facebook. 

Neal is one of two candidates who have filed the necessary paperwork with the Iredell County Elections Office to run for the Ward 6 seat, which is currently held by Keith Williams. The filing period ends at noon on July 19.

Here is Neal's campaign announcement:

I’m not a Statesville native, but for years I’ve made Ward 6 along Salisbury Road, just off I-77, my home.

I moved here to work as a feature reporter, to become part of the community and tell its story. I’m eternally thankful for the tales of fear, love, tragedy, strength and triumph you shared with me, for the banners you let me carry in your name.

I want to serve you again, as councilman of Ward 6.

Though our ward is the city’s gateway off a road where thousands of people pass daily, this area has become home to election fraud, decaying retail spaces where once-thriving businesses operated and, most recently and unbelievably, opposition to our country’s flag.

Our ward can also be the beginning of Statesville’s recovery.

Exit 49 B already houses a growing auto retail park and should the Larkin development ever become more than a ghost promised before the last election, we’ll house one of the city’s fastest-growing business and housing sectors.

But we have a long road to get there. One that requires our ward—our greater community—to stop petty division over issues like the size of our nation’s flag, while we bleed a successful business with fines. Our ordinances should promote business, not hinder it over trivialities.

A pro-business environment will provide the jobs needed in a ward with some of the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods.

Through the success of our businesses and citizens, we’ll grow our tax base through expansion, not by levying additional stormwater taxes on an already-squeezed populace and cutting back on established and effective systems like our sanitation workers.

It’s critical we used this money to provide our emergency workers with the equipment they need to perform a safe and effective job, while paying them a living wage and allowing us to staff experienced personnel integrated with the community, who can walk among it without fear of being shot from behind.

Unity will give us the strength to grow a community in which we have pride. We can—and will—rebuild Statesville. Let me help lead us there.

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