Former fire chief elected in Faith
By Kathy Chaffin
FAITH ó If this town’s Board of Aldermen follow tradition, the one newcomer on the board will also be the mayor. Traditionally, the top vote-getter serves as mayor and the second highest vote-getter as mayor pro tem.
Keith Deal, in his first bid for public office, was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s municipal election with 123 votes, according to unofficial totals from the Rowan County Board of Elections office.
“That was a big surprise,” Deal said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “I didn’t think I would do that well. I’m very humbled, and I appreciate everybody putting their confidence in me.”
Deal said he wasn’t sure if he would become mayor. “We’ll just have to see what transpires,” he said.
The chief of the Faith Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years and a firefighter for 30, Deal is retired from materials management in the operating room of Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy in Charlotte.
Incumbents Gary Gardner and Todd Peeler, the present mayor pro tem, tied with the second highest number of votes ó 115. “Todd had that last time,” Gardner said of the mayor pro tem position, “and he’s welcome to keep it.”
Gardner said in a telephone interview Tuesday night that he appreciated being re-elected. “We’ll try, as we’ve done in the past,” he said, “to do the best we can for the people of the town.”
This will be Gardner’s 13th term on the board. He has served two terms as mayor and also served as mayor pro tem. Gardner works in engineering for Duke Energy.
Peeler, who was elected to his third term, works as scheduling specialist for Duke Energy.
Bill Johnson, the current mayor, was elected to his fourth term on the board with 113 votes and Mark Shores to a 10th term with 101 votes.
Johnson, who also served a previous term as mayor, is the administrator of the Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks. Shores, who has served as mayor for two years and mayor pro tem for six, is co-owner of Aluminum Designs and Spinnaker Manufacturing.
Maxey Sanderson, after serving two terms on the board, was unseated after coming in sixth with 58 votes. He is president of Impact Technologies Group.
There were seven write-in votes in the Faith Board of Aldermen election.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.