Q&A with County Commission Candidates – Part 1

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond. We gave candidates two weeks to email their answers back.

County Commission

Patty Crump
Lane Furr
Leon Warren

District 1
Levi Greene
Mike Haigler
Mike Barbee

District 2
Bill Lawhon
Jon Ledbetter
Thomas Townsend

District 3
Tommy Jordan
Brandon King

Here is the first question posed to the candidates:

Please give a brief bio on yourself and tell our readers why you have decided to run for election (or re-election) to the Board of Commissioners.

Patty Crump

Crump: My name is Patty Crump, and I’m running for the at-large county commissioner seat. I’ve been married to David Crump for nearly 25 years and we have three beautiful children: Hannah (21), Emma (19), and Jack (14).

I graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a BA in English, concentration in communications and public relations. After spending eight years in the classroom as a high school English and special education (inclusion) teacher, I started a new career in the healthcare sector, working in marketing for the past nine years.

I’ve been with Centerwell Home Health (formerly Kindred at Home) for six years, and I manage the Stanly County territory, as well as a few accounts in Cabarrus. Additionally, I served for four years on the school board for Stanly County Schools (2016-2020).

I truly enjoyed working for the people of Stanly County and would like to apply my experience and passion to our County Commission, making sure to exemplify strong Christian and conservative values.

Our country is at a crossroads, one like none we have ever witnessed before, and we need strong leadership to help protect our God-given freedoms and to fight against the tyranny and Marxist agenda knocking at our door.

Furr: My name is Lane Furr, I am 66 years old. I have two daughters, one son and nine grandchildren.

Lane Furr

I became a widower in 2021, when my wife of 30 years died of COVID.

I was born and raised in Stanly County. My father instilled conservative values in me through hard work and responsibility from an early age. He taught me the importance of hard work, diligence and the value of a dollar.

I owned and operated Pro Tire II and wrecker service from 1987 to 2018. I retired in 2018.

I ran for county commissioner in 2018 because I felt I could offer unique insight from the perspective of the working man. I was and continue to be committed to bringing sound financial business practices to our county.

I ran my business and personal finances in a conservative manner based on sound budgeting, and believe the county would benefit from a similar strategy.

Warren: Am the coordinator for the Joe Maus “Hometown Heroes” Awards which each month recognizes and thanks a firefighter, law enforcement officer, emergency services professional, nurse, veteran and teacher in Stanly County.

Leon Warren

Am a member of the Founding Board Of Directors for Stanly Adult Day Care which hopes to be open and providing services within three years in East Albemarle.

Supported the Stanly County Farm Bureau Steering Committee and the two boards of Stanly County commissioners who planned and established the Agri-Civic Center, including being the voice which accompanied a video that promoted the Agri-Civic Center.

For 12 years, from 1988 to 2000, was the first director of the Agri-Civic Center. Before and after that for 33 years worked in local radio as a morning show host and reported on local news including the meetings and actions of the Stanly County commissioners. Have the history, experience and knowledge to serve as a Stanly County commissioner.

For more information please go to leonforcountycommisioner.com.

Greene: My name is Levi Greene and I am a Christian Constitutional Conservative, native of Stanly County running for County Commissioner District 1. My wife Dee, and I have three children ages 13, 10 and 8 and we attend Aquadale Baptist Church.

Levi Greene

After graduating West Stanly High School, I went to UNCC and earned degrees in Finance, Operations Management and an Economics minor while working full-time. After college, I moved to S.C. and began my career as an operations analyst for a tier one automotive supplier, later managing a plant in Michigan, and finally returning to Stanly County after roughly 10 years.

We have been back in Stanly County since 2013. Currently, I am a senior director of operations in charge of plants in Chicago, Virginia and Georgia. In my career, I have designed and built a half billion dollars of manufacturing facilities and improved processes on three continents in 10 countries.

My Stanly County roots run deep and I, like many in my family, have a cattle farm where we raise black angus beef. While I don’t know if my kids will choose to farm, I want them to have the same experiences that made me who I am.

Haigler: I was born and raised in Locust. I’m married to Angie Efird Haigler and have two children, Dylan and Ashlyn.

Mike Haigler

I served with Locust Volunteer Fire Department for 24 years and in law enforcement for 33 years, both with Locust Police Department and Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.

I served as fire chief in 1994 and then as police chief of Locust from 1994 to 2009. I have my own part-time business and have also served on Locust City Council for 10 years. I am recently retired from the Sheriff’s Office, giving me more time to devote to other public service.

Locust has been very successful and I would like to bring what I have learned at Locust to help the county and other municipalities in Stanly County to thrive. I have also seen how unplanned growth can harm communities and would like to preserve our open space and farmland. Finally, public safety is essential to quality of life and we need to invest heavily in our law enforcement, fire and EMS services.

Mike Barbee

Barbee: I’m a lifelong resident of Stanly County and retired from AT&T with over 41 years service. I served for 10 years on the School Board and then was elected in 2018 to the Stanly County commissioners.

I ran for commissioner because of property taxes and badly needed water in certain parts of Stanly County and I wanted to try to address these subjects.

Lawhon: My name is Bill Lawhon, age 70, of Albemarle. I am married to Gail Teeter Lawhon. We have two grown sons who are married and they have been blessed with children, making us grandparents of three.

Gail and I are members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where I serve as a deacon.

Bill Lawhon

My background is in banking and finance. I earned my banking diploma from Graduate School of Banking at LSU. I have also completed mid and executive management programs at UNC Chapel Hill.

As a banker it was my job to help people with financial matters lending money to buy homes, cars, equipment and funds allowing business owners to operate. This took building relationships, understanding how companies operate and understanding financial statements.

I am now retired from Uwharrie Bank. My time is yours as one of your commissioners. As a commissioner, I have been able to work with those skills, making sure tax dollars are spent in a conservative manner.

My previous campaign pledge was to keep and bring good paying jobs to Stanly County, improve infrastructure, fund our sheriff department and provide funds for our schools.

It is my pledge to continue those actions.

Ledbetter: My name is Jon Ledbetter, and I am 40 years old and married with seven kids.

Jon Ledbetter

I was born and raised in Stanly County. I graduated from West Stanly and graduated from Stanly Community College with a 2-year degree in Advance Manufacturing.

I am a devoted husband, father, and leader at Encounter Christ Church. The reason I decided to run for County Commissioner was because I felt the Lord calling me to run.

I also decided that our community needed some changes.

With career politicians in place, it seems that this county needs a fresh set of eyes and ears to see and hear the problems that we are facing.

There are many opportunities for our county to grow and I think sometimes those opportunities are missed because of all the red tape a business must go through. I am also running so that I can possibly move up the ranks in my political career. I may not be the perfect candidate, but I am willing to listen to the people of Stanly County and attempt to do my absolute best at representing the public.

Townsend: My Name is Thomas Townsend, and I am running for the district 2 county commissioner seat.

Thomas Townsend

My wife and I have lived in Stanly County for 42 years. I have two children, and two wonderful grandchildren.

I have a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing technology and education with a master’s degree in School Administration. I taught both middle and high school in Stanly and Mecklenburg counties.

After I left teaching, I worked as engineering and sales manager for a local business. I brought them from bankruptcy to over $10 million in profits before leaving.

As a licensed unclassified building contractor, I developed business plans, provided projected profit/loss and income statements and raised the funding to start up my own general contracting companies, with experience in land development, water/sewer construction/repair and residential/commercial building.

I’m running because the current commissioners voted for things like approving almost 1.5 million federal dollars for the health department that turned much control of the department over to the federal government and then said “our hands are tied, there is nothing we can do to stop their overreach.”

They didn’t address the plandemic, but just went along with the mandates sent down by Cooper.

Jordan: I chased my high-school sweetheart to Stanly in 2009 and never looked back. I brought my mother here in 2013. I brought my children here and hope they’ll return one day to put down roots of their own.

Tommy Jordan

I ran for office because I saw what was happening and disliked the way things were done and how special interests were the only ones being served, not the public. No one spoke to the public. No one spent any effort to engage with voters or ask their thoughts before making decisions that affect us all. Officials served themselves and their own interests.

I ran on transparency, on being available to the voters to ask questions to and on promising to be answerable for my decisions, and I’ve done that and if re-elected will continue to do that.

I’ve done things from this office that have put money back into taxpayers’ pockets, helped to increase our tax base by half a Billion dollars in 3 years, helped to bring almost 1,000 jobs to Stanly, and did it all while lowering taxes and struggling through a pandemic. Now I can’t wait to get to work doing it again!

King: My name is Brandon King and I reside in the Millingport community. I am 42 years old and a Stanly County native. I am married to Carla King and we have three children. Jolee is 19 and attends UNCC. Caleb is 18 and will attend Stanly Community College in the spring. Joni is 17 and is a junior at South Stanly High School. I am co-owner of Albemarle Outdoor Supply here in Albemarle.

Brandon King

I have chosen to run for county commissioner because I believe I can make a positive difference in Stanly County. I believe the important part of being a commissioner is listening to the citizens of this county and respect their input in decisions that need to be made on their behalf. Every resident deserves to have their opinion heard and valued.

Being a lifetime resident, I have seen many opportunities to improve this county by working together. I will bring a common-sense approach to our county government so that we all can succeed — not just a select few.

I want all of our children to have the opportunity to benefit from a successful county to possibly raise their family in.