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Meet Your Candidates: Stanley

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 Stanley, 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 informative and engaging evening at the "Candidate Meet and Greet" event, proudly sponsored by CaroMont Health.
Venue: Mount Holly Municipal Complex Date: October 12th Time: 5:00 PM
Come meet the dedicated candidates who aspire to serve the communities of Mount Holly and Stanley. It's your chance to get to know them, understand their visions, and learn about their plans for our beautiful towns. Click here to register.


Candidates for Mayor of Stanley

  • Steven Denton

Candidates for Stanley Town Council

  • Ronald Eddington

  • Leigh Anna Helms

  • Marsha Miskelly

  • Lloyd (Bud) Pate


Steven Denton - Running for Mayor of Stanley

I have served as Mayor for the Town of Stanley over the past 6 years. In that time I have worked with the Town Council to develop/beautify our downtown area, strengthen and improve our water and sewer infrastructure, and recruit businesses to the community.

I initially ran for Mayor in 2017 to show my 2 young sons how to get involved within the community and try to make a difference. My 20+ years of working in the financial sector has helped me to work with the Town Council in strengthening the town's finances while at the same time reducing debt and lowering taxes.

Top Priorities:

  1. Leverage municipal resources to support and grow local businesses.

  2. Increase connectivity from existing neighborhoods to our downtown area and local park.

  3. Work with investors to restore the former JP Stevens mill. We are in the final planning stages to revitalize this building to market rate apartments. This is expected to be a $23,000,000 investment to the town.

Public safety is always a primary concern within our town.

  • The Town Council recently moved forward with purchasing land to build a Public Safety Complex across from the Stanley Branch Library.

  • The town is planning to make a considerable investment into this facility in an effort to improve the quality and efficiency of public safety services for all of our Stanley citizens.

  • We plan to have a groundbreaking in early 2024.


Ronald Eddington - Running For Stanley Town Council

I have 11.5 years of experience in law enforcement in Arkansas.

  • Currently, I am a customer service auditor with a major airline here in Charlotte.

  • I have served on the Town of Stanley Planning Board & Board of Adjustments for two years and I am also on the Gaston County Parks & Recreational Advisory Board.

What inspired me to run for town council was my love to help individuals and be a voice for the ones that are shy to speak up. The specific qualities or experiences make me well suited for this role is my passion for public service, experience in public service, fiscal responsibility, respect for diversity, community engagement, leadership skills but most importantly accessibility.

A few top priorities for me regarding Stanley specifically pertaining to the business community are (1) Business Retention and Expansion, (2) Attracting New Businesses and (3) Networking and Collaboration.

  • We should ensure that existing businesses in our town have the support they need to thrive and expand.

  • We should attract new businesses by encouraging new businesses to set up shop in our town.

  • We can do this by marketing our town’s advantages, such as our location and workforce to potential investors and entrepreneurs.

  • We should facilitate networking events and business associations to encourage collaboration among local businesses that could possibly lead to partnerships, growth opportunities and a sense of community.

  • However, I am convinced that this can only be done by us by engaging with local business owners, associations, and residents to better understand their needs and concerns.

As a seasoned law enforcement professional, I understand the critical importance of having a well-equipped and adequately staffed police, fire, and EMS department.

  • With our town experiencing rapid growth, it is essential that we ensure these departments have the necessary resources to respond to emergencies promptly and effectively.

  • This includes hiring additional personnel, acquiring modern equipment, and providing ongoing training to our first responders. my stance on public safety as a seasoned police officer and town council candidate is centered on initiative-taking community engagement, resource allocation, education, and innovative approaches to address the unique challenges posed by our town's rapid growth.

  • Together, we can build a safer, more resilient community where all residents can thrive.


Leigh Anna Helms - Running For Stanley Town Council

I have been serving in this role since 2021 and has been the most rewarding position I’ve ever been in (other than being a mom) I graduated from Belmont Abbey College in 2004 and have worked in the Financial World since.

Having wonderful relationships with the people of Stanley, fellow residents asked if I had ever thought about running when the seat became available? I never had BUT certainly LOVE my country, love making a difference and want the best for my family, friends and neighbors. I know that by serving on council, locally, I can make a difference.

The Main Priorities for My Town regarding the Business Community would be:

  • making sure they are all SUPPORTED

  • given the best chance of success

  • locally, they are provided with our personal support, tools, platforms and guidance needed to THRIVE!

Transportation & Infrastructure: As a board member on the GCLMPO, I have learned how important transportation and Infrastructure are to our local municipalities as well as surrounding counties. Local connectivity is where my heart is, and I love working with fellow colleagues to try to figure out ways to get us all where we need to go, safely and efficiently.


Marsha Miskelly - Running for Stanley Town Council

I worked in the corporate world for 47 years in different areas, but mainly as an Executive Assistant for the finance department at a global construction company in Charlotte.

  • I was an assistant to one of the EVP’s and for four of the finance managers. I scheduled travel for them, scheduled meetings/lunches for them, powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets, and loved working and serving others. I was always involving the managers and their teams in activities in Charlotte to help the less fortunate.

  • It was a great feeling!

  • When I retired in 2017, I knew I wanted to stay busy, so I am a substitute teacher at a charter school in Stanley.

I would love to be a part of our Town Council to serve the town I love.

My husband of 50 years died in 2021.

  • Donnie grew up here and graduated from Stanley High School.

  • We both had such a love and an attachment to this town, and I knew I wanted to be a part of this team.

I want to see out town grow and prosper. I love serving people, and do not have a problem with “rolling up my sleeves” and getting to work. I love working with people and have time to find out the needs of the residents and be their voice.

My focus for now will be on the rapid growth of our town and making sure the infrastructure is what it should be to meet the needs of the residents. I have spoken with the police department and fire department and know some of their concerns. I plan to address this to make sure our businesses and residents are taken care of and feel like they make a difference in our town.

I would also like to see another grocery store move in to meet the needs of our current residents, and with all the housing developments being built, a much needed facility to satisfy the the concerns of our current and future residents. I have listened to their concerns and agree with them since I am also a resident.

There are a couple [topics] that I would choose, but the main one right now is Public Safety.

  • As I stated earlier, I want to make sure the emergency services concerns and needs are met to assure our residents they are safe.

  • There are plans to build a Public Safety Complex in Stanley in the near future, and this will be a great and much needed facility.


Thomas Gillespie - Running for Stanley Town Council

I am Incumbent Lowell City Councilman, and I have had the honor of being elected twice as Mayor-Pro-Tem. I am also Pastor of Hebron Church. I am running for the City Council of Lowell once again, to continue serving the citizens of this community.

  • With my deep roots in Lowell, I bring a wealth of experience and a strong track record of leadership. I've always been committed to our community's orderly growth, and I'm proud to have lived in Lowell my entire life.

I'm inspired to run for City Council because I believe in being a servant to the people of Lowell. My years of public service and leadership in the community have prepared me well for this role.

My top priorities for Lowell, especially concerning the business community, are clear.

  • First, I aim to lower taxes to ease the burden on our residents.

  • Second, I'm dedicated to preparing Lowell for organized and economic growth.

Public safety is a paramount concern for me. I know that our citizens want to feel safe, and I fully support initiatives to enhance public safety in our community.

  • One way I'd like to address this is by advocating for the construction of a new public works facility in Lowell, which would contribute to a safer and more secure environment for everyone


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