Incumbents win in Kannapolis
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó Bob Misenheimer’s election-night fish dinner worked again.
“We had fish and I’ll tell you what, a little superstition goes a long way,” said Misenheimer, who won a second term as Kannapolis mayor Tuesday in a landslide victory over challenger Bill Georgiou.
Voters re-elected all incumbents in Kannapolis, including three city council members.
“I’m extremely grateful for the vote of confidence,” said Misenheimer, who has eaten seafood before most of his municipal election victories.
“This is seven times that I’ve been to the well, and I’ll tell you what, I just appreciate it more than I can say,” he said.
Before becoming mayor, Misenheimer served as a city council member for five terms.
Gene McCombs was the top vote-getter for city council, but just barely. Randy Cauthen was 30 votes behind in second place, and Darrell Hinnant ran a close third.
Challenger Michael Mishkin came up short with just 12 percent of the vote.
“I’m very pleased and humbled,” McCombs said. “I’m certainly going to work very hard to be worthy of the confidence that the people have shown.”
Victory for all incumbents indicates that citizens “are reasonably pleased with the job that we’ve been doing,” McCombs said.
Economic development, job creation and low taxes are the most important issues to Kannapolis voters, he said.
With a two-day planning retreat next month, Misenheimer said the council will set long-term priorities, including improvements at the N.C. Research Campus.
“The council is very interested in getting the NCRC project back on track,” he said. “We have some delays because of the economic situation, and I would hope that would be one of our top priorities.”
Campus developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina has “some pretty exciting announcements coming in November,” Misenheimer said.
He said developers would not give details.
“We have several hundred people working there already, and we hope that more will get jobs,” Misenheimer said. “It’s very important.”
Georgiou phoned Misenheimer to congratulate him. Georgiou said he was surprised that Misenheimer won with nearly 72 percent of the vote.
“Goes to show that you can have a bunch of skill and talent as a young man, but you can’t underestimate experience and wisdom,” Georgiou said.
The manager of McCabes Steakhouse, Georgiou said he might run again and felt his candidacy raised awareness of several issues, including small business ownership and curbside recycling.
“It’s been a great opportunity and a massive learning experience,” he said. “And most of all, through all this, I love my city a little bit more.”