By Jessie Burchette
The man who has served as the defacto assistant county manager for years is now a candidate for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
Ken Deal, 55, filed Wednesday. He is a Republican.Deal said he has been considering retiring at the end of year. He has 22 years in county government and a total of 32 years in county and state government.
“With the experience and knowledge that I have in county government, I felt it could be beneficial,” said Deal.When incumbent Arnold Chamberlain announced he will not seek re-election, it created a vacant seat. Deal said that opened the door for him to run.
He also checked with the Institute of Government to verify that he can run while continuing to work for the county. If elected, he would have to retire by the first Monday in December when commissioners are sworn in.
Deal said he wants to work to enhance the quality of living for all residents of the county through economic development. “We need more jobs. We don’t need to turn Rowan County into a bedroom community. It looks like we are headed that way quickly. We really need to get industry in here.”
And he maintains that the county has many things going for it that should bring in business and industry. Among the positives, he cited the interstate widening, two four-year colleges, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and an airport with lots of space to expand and accommodate businesses.
A native of China Grove, Deal is a 1970 graduate of South Rowan High School and a 1974 graduate of Catawba College with a double major in business and economics.
During his school years, he worked evenings, weekends and summers in his father’s business, Deal’s Upholstery and Glass in Kannapolis.
After graduating from Catawba, he went to work for the state in probation and parole. He later served as the administrative officer for Piedmont Corrections Institution.
And he also earned his basic law enforcement certification and was a part-time deputy sheriff.
In September 1986, Deal went to work with the county as the first-ever personnel director. As the job evolved, he became director of administration.
That job has eventually grown to include human resources, building maintenance, risk management, workers compensation, pre-trial release, the Rowan County Airport, Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium and whatever else commissioners or the county manager wanted to throw his way.
Deal and his wife, Lisa, live on Lentz Road, China Grove. They have two children.
He is a member of First United Methodist Church in China Grove.
Deal is also a member of the China Grove Civitans and the Rowan-Salisbury personnel Association.
Deal is the fourth Republican to file for the two seats available.
By Jessie Burchette