• 45°

Two Republicans campaign for the 83rd District in the N.C. House

New on the ballot in Rowan County this election year is the race for the 83rd District in North Carolina’s House of Representatives.

Updated maps for the General Assembly were completed early this year, effectively pairing incumbent Reps. Carl Ford, R-76, and Larry Pittman, R-82, within the new boundaries.

Ford is now running for a seat in the state Senate. Pittman is facing a newcomer to public office in the May primary, Michael Anderson.

The Post spoke with both candidates about their priorities.

Michael Anderson

Anderson, who grew up in Harrisburg and now lives in Concord, calls himself “one of the few natives” of Cabarrus County.

“We’re like Sasquatch: we’re easily scared and rarely seen,” he said with a laugh.

Rarely seen for most, perhaps, but the descriptor hardly suits Anderson. In the past 10 years, he’s amassed a social media following of more than 130,000 through his photography.

He garnered enough success that he was able to leave his 20-year career in sales and marketing to open his own photography business.

And he’s entirely self-taught.

“Photography has given me opportunities and benefits I never dreamed of,” he said, comparing his life now to a childhood full of struggle. He was adopted at birth, lost his adoptive parents at a young age and grew up poor.

Now, he’s using his photography to give back, taking on jobs throughout the community for free.

But he wants to do more.

“I’m not a politician,” he said, “I’m just a guy in this community that cares and wants to do right. I don’t think our representative here is a positive role model or influence in Raleigh. He doesn’t represent the whole.”

Anderson said he’s running to not only be that representation but to address a list of issues he sees across the district and statewide: underfunded schools, a lack of mental health funding, unaffordable health care, crumbling infrastructure and more.

“We need more tax incentives to help small businesses create stuff,” he said. “We need more funding for the arts.”

Anderson said that although he is focused on these and other issues, as a representative he would work to identify and meet the needs of all.

“I will never be the smartest person in the room. Never,” he said. “But I will talk and listen and work with other people whether I agree with them or not to get a good solution to a problem.”

Larry Pittman

Pittman was appointed to the House of Representatives from the 82nd District in October 2011 after Rep. Jeff Barnhart resigned.

He has served continuously since but says he has no intention to run for more than five full terms.

“I originally ran because I got tired of seeing the rights and concerns of the average taxpaying citizen overlooked or violated in favor or special interests,” he said. “I am still committed to standing up for the rights of our citizens and to upholding our state and U.S. constitutions.”

Pittman said he sees great need both statewide and in the district to get government out of the way of business. He said there are needs for better education opportunities for children, better pay for law enforcement officers and better mental health care.

“One of the biggest mistakes made across this nation some years ago is the move away from institutional services for the mentally ill,” said Pittman. “… This trend needs to be reversed.”

If re-elected, Pittman said he will continue to work on issues involving the individual rights. This includes property rights, parental rights, freedom of religious expression, the right to free and secure elections, public safety, and the right to keep and bear arms, he said.

Pittman asked that voters look at his record in Raleigh when considering for whom to vote.

He cited his work on Sheyenne’s Law, which made it a felony to kill or seriously injure someone by impaired boating, and legislative actions meant to “enhance gun rights for concealed-carry permit holders.”

“I am always rated as one of the top few conservatives in the House,” he said. “… I have shown myself to be a diligent and effective public servant representing the 82nd District, and I would appreciate the voters allowing me to continue to render such service in the 83rd District next term.”

Comments

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month