Kannapolis voters elect three incumbents, one new council member

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

By Andie Foley


KANNAPOLIS – As the face behind Kannapolis’ bold downtown revitalization effort, Mayor Darrell Hinnant was re-elected on Tuesday with overwhelming voter support.

Hinnant received 1,706 votes, a sweeping 67 percent of the total. Dennis Johnson, his only opposing candidate, received 821 votes.

Three spots on the Kannapolis City Council were also open, with five first-time candidates and two incumbents on the ballot.

Incumbents Dianne Berry and Doug Wilson were both re-elected to their second term on the city council.

Berry, a human resources co-manager at Cabarrus Health Alliance, campaigned in support of current downtown revitalization efforts. She said the city can continue to take on revitalization without jeopardizing the needs of its citizens.

She also emphasized maintaining a close relationship between the council and Kannapolis City Schools and public safety.

Wilson, current mayor pro tem and general manager for Publicom Inc., received the most votes with a total of 1,485. He was deeply grateful for the re-election of the two incumbents.

This campaign, he said, was particularly taxing.

“I think the good people of Kannapolis understood what’s true and what’s not true,” he said. “This year’s incumbents withstood personal insults, but our supporters were there with us.”

The race for the new seat was tight.

In the end, just 23 combined votes separated Van Rowell and Chris Gordan across Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Rowell claimed the top spot with 928 votes.

Rowell and Hinnant were unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.

At Tuesday’s close, Berry expressed enthusiasm toward acting on the concerns raised by voters during this year’s election.

“I have listened to the needs and concerns of our citizens today at the polls,” she said. “Without your voice, I cannot be the voice I need to be for you.”

Wilson, tired and ready to rest after a long day campaigning, agreed.

“It’s all about the people. They spoke today.”