By Hugh Fisher
For the Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS Voters re-elected Richard Anderson, Kenneth Geathers and Roger Haas to the City Council in Tuesday's elections.
The three incumbents won by decisive margins. Totaling the votes from precincts in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, Richard Anderson tallied 1,269 votes, Geathers received 1,237 votes and Roger Haas got 1,065.
Among the challengers, David Baucom received 870 votes, John Williams got 512 votes and Jim Harkins took 482.
Voter turnout was light, with only 11.8 percent of registered voters casting ballots in Cabarrus County, according to the Cabarrus Board of Elections. In Kannapolis' three Rowan County precincts, the average turnout was 6.6 percent.
David Baucom said he felt good despite an apparent fourth-place finish.
"I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish to be introduced to the city of Kannapolis and let them know who I am," Baucom said. "I will probably run again in the very near future."
John Williams said he had no comment on the results.
Jim Harkins could not be reached for comment.
Each of the re-elected council members said he feels the election reflected a positive message from citizens of Kannapolis.
"I felt all along, really, that the three incumbents would be re-elected, to tell you the truth," said Anderson, who will begin his fourth term on the City Council.
"I am just honored and grateful that the residents still have the faith and confidence in me to do the job they selected me to do," Anderson said. "And it is an honor for me to serve them."
Geathers echoed that sentiment: "I'm very grateful to the people of Kannapolis for re-electing me, and I will do the very best I can to make sure that the North Carolina Research Campus is fully funded and that we do everything we can to improve the quality of life in Kannapolis."
Haas called the election results "very humbling."
"We really have a lot of exciting things coming up in the future, and I'm really pleased that the citizens gave me a chance to be able to have a part in the decision-making process," he said.
This is Haas' second election to a full term of office. He was voted onto the City Council in 1997 and appointed to fill the remaining two years of Bob Misenheimer's term when Misenheimer was elected mayor in 2005.
None of the council members mentioned specific agendas for their upcoming terms, other than to continue working for the good of the city.
Haas said he thinks the city's support of the North Carolina Research Campus is reflected in the voting.
"We have been there, and we have the background of the process as it began, up to the point where we are now," Haas said.
He hopes in his next term to support, among other initiatives, including expansions to Kannapolis' parks and recreation facilities.
Geathers wants to focus on expanding jobs and improving city services. As far as the vote goes, Geathers said he feels citizens want to support the leaders who have the most experience with the North Carolina Research Campus.
"They don't want to change horses in the middle of the stream," Geathers said. "They know we started this, and they want us to see it through."
"The future of Kannapolis is bright," Anderson said. "We've got a lot on the table, not only in terms of the Research Campus but ... in terms of real estate."
Anderson said that issues of growth in and around Kannapolis will be paramount in the immediate future.
"It's going to require our paying attention to our growth and managing it, and I mean really managing it, not just controlling it," Anderson said.
Contact Hugh Fisher at 704-797-4245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.