Gaston County Commissioner considering State House candidacy

A Gaston County commissioner said he would compete in the race for the 109th seat of the NC House left open with the death in October of Dana Bumgardner.

Republican Ronnie Worley, who was elected to a second four-year term on the county committee in 2020, is the third Republican to declare he will compete for the seat that represents southeast Gaston County.

Gaston County Republicans chose former Gaston County Commissioner Donnie Loftis to fill the remaining portion of Bumgardner’s fifth term in October.

Gaston County GOP executive committee members chose Loftis over Worley and Lauren Bumgardner Current, the late representative’s daughter, to fill the remaining term. Current will also run for the seat in 2022, she said.

The candidacy period for the 2022 elections begins on Monday December 6 and ends on Friday December 17.

Worley, a former mayor of Cramerton and retired State Highway Patrol soldier, would have to relinquish his seat on the county commission if elected to the State House, but could complete his term on the council of the county if voters don’t elect him to State House.

“This campaign will be about accountability and restarting government,” Worley said in a Nov. 23 statement setting out his intention to run. “Coming out of the pandemic, we have seen too many government systems fail. We need to put state government back to work. We need to focus on serving citizens – not on extended emergency mandates and executive powers.

“Government at all levels fails the average citizen and the average family,” Worley said.

Worley said he would focus in Raleigh on transportation, education and law enforcement.

A native of Gaston County, Worley graduated from South Point High School in 1983. He has been married to his wife, Lynne, for almost 33 years. Worley is a member of the Friendship Baptist Church in Belmont. He was a member of the North Carolina Army National Guard from 1982 to 1988.

Loftis, who retired after 30 years in the Army and Army National Guard, served on the Gaston County Board of Commissioners from 2000 to 2004 and from 2008 to 2012. He also lost two elective candidates. for the 109th House race in 2004 and 2012.

You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-869-1823 or email him at [email protected]

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