Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2012

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Five Republican candidates have filed for U.S. House District 8 in North Carolina.
In order of their filing dates, N.C. Rep. Fred F. Steen II, Richard Hudson, Vernon Robinson, Scott Keadle and John Whitley will compete in the Republican primary for the 8th District.
The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, who will face challenger Marcus M. Williams in the Democratic primary.
Steen, 51, of 317 Daybrook Drive in Landis, owns a small business in Kannapolis with his wife, Tena. He is in his fourth term representing the 76th district in the state House. Previously, he served as mayor of Landis from 1995-2004.
All of the Republicans say they want to cut spending, bring down debt and create a better regulatory and tax environment for businesses. Steen says it’s his local roots that make him stand out.
“I have always lived here, I run a small business here and I raised my family here; I understand what it will take to be our Representative,” Steen said in a Feb. 13 press release.
Hudson, 40, of 86 Spring St. N.W. in Concord, is the owner of Cabarrus Marketing Group. He has worked on the campaigns of several state and federal Republican candidates.
“I believe we must end reckless federal spending and create an environment where businesses can once again create jobs,” Hudson said in a Feb. 13 press release. “I’m a consistent, conservative leader with the energy and proven experience we need to get our economy moving again.”
Robinson, 56, of 160 Union St. N. in Concord, is a former Winston-Salem State University faculty member who is now self-employed in new media marketing and sales. He served on the Winston-Salem City Council from 1997 to 2005.
According to the biography on his website, Robinson wants to “shrink the government and grow the economy so that your children and grandchildren will not have to move away in search of work.”
He encourages voters to visit his website and listen to a recent 8th District debate in Concord.
Keadle, 47, of 113 Sea Hide Court in Mooresville, is a dentist with Rowan Dental Associates in Salisbury and president of Keadle Professional Properties. He served as an Iredell County Commissioner from 2008 to 2010.
“I believe in America, and trust the judgment of American workers and business leaders,” Keadle wrote in an emailed statement Friday. “The fight for freedom is the fight to take back our government from the D.C. Establishment, and I define success as a government that minds its own business and lets us use free-market principles to get our economy back where it ought to be.”
Whitley, 55, of 6994 N.C. Hwy 130 E. in Fairmont, is a physician, neurosurgeon and farmer. He says an important goal, which is shared by the other Republican candidates, is to repeal or defund President Barack Obama’s new health care reform law.
“It’s time to make tough decisions and set some priorities instead of raising the debt limit and kicking the can down the road,” Whitley said in a Sept. 19 press release. “We must immediately remove the federal government from the lives and business of all our citizens as much as possible.”
The race will not include Weddington Mayor Pro Tem Dan Barry, who announced his candidacy in the 8th District but chose to file in the 9th District.
Richard Hudson
Age: 40
Address: 86 Spring St. N.W., Concord
Phone number: 704-795-2012
Occupation: Owner, Cabarrus Marketing Group
Education: Graduate of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, B.A. in political science and history from University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Previous elected office: None
Community involvement: Past member, board of trustees of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; past member, West Cabarrus YMCA board; past member, UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Board; founding member, Cabarrus Jaycees.
Family: Wife, Renee
Scott Keadle
Age: 47
Address: 113 Sea Hide Court, Mooresville
Phone number: 704-438-9888
Occupation: Dentist, Rowan Dental Associates; President, Keadle Professional Properties
Education: Studied chemistry at U.S. Air Force Academy and West Virginia University, graduate of West Virginia University Dental School
Previous elected office: Iredell County Commissioner, 2008-2010
Community involvement: Team dentist, Catawba College; member, National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped; member, American Legion Post No. 185 in China Grove; former member, health boards of Rowan and Iredell counties; former partner, Families for Kids; director and committee chairman, Iredell County board of Stop Child Abuse Now.
Family: Wife, Ming; two daughters.
Vernon Robinson
Age: 56
Address: 160 Union St. N., Concord
Phone number: 336-577-2711
Occupation: Self-employed, new media marketing and sales
Education: B.S. in Middle Eastern History from U.S. Air Force Academy, M.B.A. from University of Missouri
Previous elected office: Winston-Salem City Council Member, 1997-2005
Community involvement: Founder and former president, N.C. Education Reform Foundation
Family: Married, three children
Fred F. Steen II
Age: 51
Address: 317 Daybrook Drive, Landis
Phone number: 704-791-9819
Occupation: Small business owner
Education: Attended Cabarrus County schools, graduate of University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Previous elected office: N.C. District 76, 2004-present; mayor of Landis, 1995-2004
Community involvement: Member, Gideon’s International, Rowan-South Camp; member, Kannapolis Rotary Club; member, Landis Lions Club; past president, Rowan Municipal Association; past board member, American Red Cross, Elizabeth H. Dole Chapter in Salisbury; past board member, Southern Select Community Credit Union in Kannapolis.
Family: Wife, Tena; Two children.
John M. Whitley
Age: 55
Address: 6994 N.C. Hwy 130 E., Fairmont
Phone number: 704-490-8321
Occupation: Physician, neurosurgeon and farmer
Education: Graduate of A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, master’s and doctoral degrees in neuroscience and anatomy from Wake Forest University, medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, specialty degree in neurosurgery from Medical College of Georgia, M.B.A. from University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Previous elected office: None
Community involvement: Founder, All Creatures Animal Sanctuary LLC
Family: Widower, late wife, Elizabeth Whitley; one daughter, Alyson; one son, Ashton; three grandchildren.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Facebook: Karissa.SalisburyPost