The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

April 24, 2014

Stanly County sheriff candidates discuss campaign issues


Thursday, April 24, 2014 — To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email

Editor’s Note: Candidates for sheriff were emailed a list of questions and a limit of 200 words per question. Here are their answers, which have been edited for length and clarity.

1. Why are you running for sheriff?


Rick Burris: As the current Stanly County sheriff, I’m seeking re-election because the Sheriff’s Office is accountable to the citizens of Stanly County, and you deserve a sheriff who serves every citizen and upholds the law without regard for political affiliation or who you know. I am unwilling to compromise myself and the integrity of the sheriff’s office, and I understand that you want your family to be safe and your home and workplace to be secure. As your Stanly County law enforcement agency, we have a job to do, and serving the people and the community is my priority.

Cameron Speights:  I am running for sheriff because I have always enjoyed public service and I have been a public servant for most of my adult life. I am concerned with the direction Stanly County is headed and I would like to be a part of the decision-making process. Stanly County faces many challenges that are relative to the sheriff’s office and I would like help lead our law enforcement officers in the right direction.


George T. Burris: I am running for sheriff to help make Stanly County a safer and more secure place to raise our families and work. I want to provide the great citizens a professional, hard worker, proactive Sheriff's Office that the citizens can be proud of. To work hand and hand with our school administration, communities, businesses, county leaders and our fire and EMS workers. To have a vision for our county and set the foundation for years to come. To battle the drug problem in our county and keep drugs off our streets and out of our schools. To protect our kids from all types of bullying, whether its physical, verbal, emotional or social media. To lay a positive foundation for years to come and provide a Sheriff's Office that is seen in our communities and that the public know they can rely on. To provide more training and education for Sheriff's Office staff and keep them positive and moving forward. To be a sheriff that will always be available for questions and concerns and show our great citizens that they are appreciated.

Tony Frick: When I was in office before, I had a plan for things that I wanted to see happen in Stanly County and I feel like some of those things did happen and there were some that could be improved upon and some that still need to be done. I would like the opportunity to do so. This county and its citizens have been and will always be important to me.

Melvin Poole: Reason for running is to give the voters a wider choice since some previous candidates failed to be chosen for sheriff. And simply put, I can do the job.

Michael Whaley: Stanly County has been my home for over 20 years. My wife was born and raised here.  We have raised our four children here in this county.  I want to take my law enforcement experience and education that I have been blessed with and reinvest it back into our community.  It’s here in this county that our children are now raising our grandchildren. My concern is for their safety and quality of life. Times are changing with technological advances and new social trends. I’m running for sheriff because I’m confident I can meet these new challenges to safeguard and protect all of our families.

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