Harry Rivera, Republican for county commissioner
By Jessie Burchette
Harry Rivera’s life experience has taken him from his native Puerto Rico to fight in Desert Storm.
Now Rivera is fighting for his adopted Rowan County, wanting to make things better.
The 46-year-old resident of Laurel Lane, is one of eight Republican candidates for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
“I believe I can make a difference,” said Rivera, adding that he doesn’t have to be politically correct. “I want schools to do better. I want my granddaughter to have a good school system.”
“People need to start helping people instead of hiding behind bureaucratic laws,” he said, adding, “People need to start caring about people.”
Rivera was born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. At an early age, his family moved to Suffolk County in New York where he graduated from high school.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1984, serving in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His assignments also included the U.S Embassy in London.
Working through the military program, Rivera earned a degree from City University based in Washington State and is pursuing his master’s degree in international marketing and business with emphasis in industrial technology.
Based in Florida for his last assignment, Rivera got a job offer from Freightliner in Cleveland.
The family moved to Rowan County in 1992 and fell in love with the area.
He considers his run for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners a continued part of his service.
“I chose the military to give back. I love my U.S. flag,” said Rivera.
“I was living peacefully, being a good citizen, making sure I paid my taxes,” said Rivera.
When the city of Salisbury opted to annex a large area along N.C. 150 West, they included the Summerfield development where Rivera lives.
“I seen the indifference. I said ‘Wait a moment. Somebody needs to step up to the plate,’ ” said Rivera.
But he stresses the annexation isn’t the only issue. “It’s the tip of the iceberg,” he said, going on to cite problems with jail overcrowding and schools not being properly funded.
Other Republican candidates are: Ken Deal, Carl Ford and Mike Miller, all of China Grove; Patty Overcash, Landis; Donna Peeler, Rockwell; Von Coolidge Poston and Jim Sides of Salisbury.