Three running for N.C. House 83rd District

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Joanie Morris
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS ó Democrats John Stanley and Barry Richards will face off in the May 6 primary for the 83rd N.C. House District, with the winner taking on Republican incumbent Linda Johnson.
Johnson, of 1205 Berkshire Drive, Kannapolis, said she’s running for her fourth term because she wants “to help by solving problems and saving tax dollars.”
“I think I have a strong record of doing both and would like to continue,” Johnson said.
Her priorities include economic issues, education and the environment as it pertains to transportation and conservation.
“Air quality in our area is directly related to our transportation issues,” Johnson said. Johnson said she would like to be a part of the changing of how road money is allotted for counties to road use and economic needs.
In addition, she wants to make jobs available and keep taxes low. She will also work to help the North Carolina Research Campus finish the public-private partnership process started in the legislature.
A lifelong resident of the Kannapolis area, Johnson graduated from A.L. Brown High School and did some continuing education work at N.C. State University. She is a computer analyst.
Before election to the N.C. House, she served on the Kannapolis Board of Education, and the Cabarrus County Parks and Recreation Board.
Stanley, of 1401 Tygress Drive, said he is running to help conserve the good things about the district while the area is changing.
“It’s changing overnight, literally,” said Stanley. “… Ten years ago, this was a rural area. What’s it going to be in three years, when (the N.C. Research Campus) opens?”
His priorities are Cabarrus County road and water systems, current and future taxes, veteran concerns and education.
“A strong educational system impacts crime, strengthens property value, and prepares an independent posterity,” Stanley said. “I don’t want to see this turned into another Staten Island. This county is on a precipice.”
Stanley currently works part time as a seasonal tax preparer at H&R Block Income Tax Service. He is retired after 35 years from the textile industry, where he worked as a retail and private label marketing executive.
He received his bachelors degree in History from Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. A veteran of the United States Army, Stanley served from 1967-1969 in Vietnam, earning the Spec-5 grade, the maximum grade he could achieve in service, “achieved in minimum time.”
Richards, of 2201 St. John’s Church Road, Concord, is a driver’s education instructor for the Cabarrus County Schools, but has previously worked in town administration.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from Appalachian State University and a master’s in theological counseling from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. He is working on a master’s in high school counseling at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory.
Richards ran for Cabarrus County commissioner in the 1990s but lost.
He said he is running for the N.C. House because of funding and road conditions.
“I believe I can help Cabarrus County better situate themselves on a state level for funding that comes through the state coffers,” Richards said. “I think there’s numerous things that we need to do in Cabarrus County with road construction and bridge improvement.”
Contact Joanie Morris at 704-932-3336 or