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Meet Your Candidates: Lowell

In our ongoing commitment to inform and educate Gaston County residents, the GBA is proud to present a comprehensive compilation of responses from the candidates running for office in Lowell, NC. We believe that there is great importance in ensuring every resident has access to the information they need to make informed decisions at the ballot box.

Candidates were asked:

  • Please provide a short introduction (50 words or less) highlighting your professional background and achievements.

  • What inspired you to run for city/town council, and what specific qualities or experiences make you well-suited for this role?

  • What are your top priorities for your city/town (specifically pertaining to the business community), and how do you plan to address them if elected?

  • Please select one of the following local issues, and provide a brief description on your stance on the topic: Economic Development, Public Safety, Transportation & Infrastructure, and Education

To view candidate responses from other municipalities, please click here.

Join us for an evening of networking and community engagement at "Business After Hours: Meet the Candidates," sponsored by CaroMont Health and hosted at The Optimum Result Fitness.
Date: Wednesday, October 11th Time: 5:00 PM
This event provides a unique opportunity to meet and greet with all the candidates running for the City of Gastonia, Lowell, Ranlo, and McAdenville. Your participation matters as we shape the future of our community together. Click here to register.


Candidates for Mayor of Lowell

  • Norris D. Lamb

  • Larry Simonds

Candidates for Lowell City Council

  • Scott Bates

  • John Cato

  • DeWayne Chitwood

  • Joanna Fulbright

  • Candy Funderburk

  • Thomas Gillespie

  • Steven Rhyne

  • Shane Robinson

  • Heather Seay


JoAnna Fullbright - Running for Lowell City Council

  • 19-year employee with Duke Energy – Nuclear Security

  • 15 years of service as a Police Officer

  • 7 years of service – Volunteer Fighter/EMT

  • Level I and II NC State Firefighters Certification

  • Firefighter of the Year

  • AAS – Emergency Preparedness

  • AAS - Fire Science Technology

On February 8, 2022, I was appointed to the Lowell City Council after a member chose to step down due to health issues.

During my time on council, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand what keeping a city running entails. I have made it a goal to attend any class, online or in person, that has been made available to me when I was able to take the time off work to attend. I attended the 2-day Municipals of Government class, where I was able to engage and learn from some of the best lawyers in North Carolina. I attended City Vision in 2022, where over four days, we attended daily training sessions from early morning until evening.

  • It was a great opportunity to listen and learn from other leaders across the state and see how they are addressing some of the same issues that we face in Lowell.

Along with the training that I have received, I also have a deep desire to continue to serve our great city! My background in Law Enforcement and Fire have taught me to be a critical thinker, to remain calm in the face of adversity and to adapt and overcome when situations do not go as planned.

  • I would continue to stay focused on the Lowell’s strategic vision plan that the current council has adopted and would continue to work along with my constituents toward bringing new businesses.

  • The goal is to maintain the small-town feel, while still having a variety of businesses that will supply the demands of today’s society.

  • Although growth and change are often seen as a negative by some individuals, it is necessary to continue to have a thriving city.

Having a background in Law Enforcement, this topic is near and dear to my heart. To have a safe community, we need to maintain a police department that is well equipped for the job that they are being asked to do.

In this year’s budget the current council approved the new dispatch and reporting system called “New World”. This will bring the police department up to the standard that much of the county is on. We also added an admin position to assist the offers with reports, evidence and paperwork that would otherwise tie them up and take them off the street until completed. Salary increases were given to allow the department to maintain competitive salaries with the surrounding areas, which lead them to being fully staffed. A K-9 unit has also been approved and will be a great addition. Just recently the council approved the purchase of an ATV for departmental use.

I support Public Safety one hundred percent and if I am re-elected, I will continue to work with my constituents to ensure that the Lowell Police Department has the proper equipment to protect the people of this great city, while maintaining their own personal safety.


Thomas Gillespie - Running for Lowell City Council

Incumbent Lowell City Councilman. Twice elected Mayor-Pro-Tem and Pastor of Hebron Church

[I’m inspired] to be a servant of the citizens of Lowell. To continue to have orderly growth for our residents.

I have lived in Lowell all my life.

My priorities are:

  1. Lower Taxes

  2. Prepare Lowell for orderly and economic growth.

I would love to see a new public works Facility in Lowell.

Public Safety is a priority with me.

Our Citizens want to feel safe.


Heather Seay - Running for Lowell City Council

I grew up in Gastonia and have lived in Lowell since 2015. I have a master’s degree in accounting and throughout my 15-year career I have overseen the creation of budgets and the financing for millions of dollars in projects.

  • Currently I’m the controller at Choice USA in Lowell.

I got involved with the community several years ago. I live and work in Lowell and wanted to get more involved, become more informed, and most importantly, to give back. I’m currently chair of our Community Committee and am a member of the Planning Board and through that have learned a lot about our city and its needs. I think my background in accounting, specifically my experience in budgeting and capital projects will be a strong asset that I can bring to our council.

  • One of my top priorities is listening to the citizens and business owners and finding balance.

  • Maintaining the small-town feel while managing economic development is a delicate balance that is crucial for the well-being of our community in Lowell.

  • Our area continues to grow, and that growth needs to be managed.

  • My stance on this issue is clear: we can continue responsible economic development without sacrificing the unique charm and character of our town.

I am committed to continuing to pursue grants and state funding to support improvements in our parks and overall infrastructure.

  • These improvements will not only enhance our parks' functionality but also contribute to the beautification and accessibility of our town.

  • This initiative aligns with my vision of preserving what makes Lowell special while ensuring that we have the amenities and infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing community.

As your City Council member, I promise to be a dedicated advocate for our community, working tirelessly to make Lowell an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

  • Together, we can build a brighter future for Lowell.

  • Thank you for your support!


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