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ELECTION 2020: Huneycutt seeks another term in Oakboro

Serving the needs of North Carolina citizens is just another day at work for one of the four candidates looking to fill two positions on the Oakboro Town Commission in the general election.

Chris Huneycutt is a native of the town and a member of First Baptist in Oakboro who has worked for more than 30 years in the information technology department of the State Employees Credit Union.

Huneycutt, one of two incumbent candidates along with Latoya Jackson, is running versus new candidates Lanny Hathcock and Jesse Lewis. He was elected to the commission and has served for the past nine years.

Still living in Oakboro in his great-grandparents’ home, which was where the first school in town used to be, Huneycutt said his job with SECU was similar to his work on the council in terms of serving and working with people on a direct basis.

“My desire is to improve my community and make things better for everyone around me, to represent all of the people, not just a specific group,” Huneycutt said. “I know many of the people here in the community and I feel like it is a privilege to represent them.”

Huneycutt’s roots run deep in the Oakboro community. His grandfather was the town clerk for the town in 1912 while working for the railroad. His family is all from nearby.

The commissioner said there are constant challenges faced by the town, but one main issue for him is to see positive growth. According to Huneycutt, positive growth would mean more new businesses and greater employment opportunities in Oakboro and Stanly County. Specifically, he added he would like to see more restaurants or different types of businesses which would attract people to Oakboro.

The town is growing already, Huneycutt noted, with the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry project expected to open in the next few years. Around one third of the foundry’s employees live in Stanly, he added, and through attrition new jobs will become available when the foundry opens.

He noted many people living in Oakboro have to travel out of town and the county to find work, which was not the case years ago when Stanly Knitting Mills was still in operation. Bringing jobs back is important “to give people an opportunity to actually work where they live,” he said.

As a board, Huneycutt said the town commission must work to maintain a level of growth while still working to maintain a small-town atmosphere.

Healthcare is important with the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, noting how different a time it is now with wearing masks and such.

“(COVID) presents challenges,” Huneycutt said.

The town already has a lot to offer, Huneycutt said, mentioning Oakboro Regional Park which was 12 years in the making.

Oakboro’s park “is an asset to our community that brings a lot of people from different areas.”

“There is a great investment there, which we are fortunate to have that right here in our backyard.”

Utilization of the park has grown in the pandemic.

Residents “are using the things available to them,” he said.

While many people believe you have to go to Charlotte for a nice evening of dinner and a movie, Huneycutt noted the park has been used for movie nights.

Huneycutt said he wanted to thank the people who come to the town commission meetings and show interest in Oakboro.

“You have to show interest. You have to show the desire to know more about what’s going on in your community…(the commissioners) do this because we love our community, because we want the best for (residents), not because of any compensation because there is no compensation.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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