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Cornelius News

Rematch: It’s Powell vs. Puckett again for Mecklenburg County Commission

Democrat Elaine Powell and Republican James Puckett

Oct. 2. By Dave Vieser. Republican James Puckett held the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners District One seat for years, but in 2018, Democrat Elaine Powell soundly defeated him in a race that underscored the political shift in the Mecklenburg suburbs.

The North Mecklenburg district—mostly Cornelius, Huntersville, and Davidson—has grown faster among Independents and Democrats than Republicans. Nevertheless, Puckett, who is the president Electro Painters, hopes to get his old seat back after being defeated by Powell 56 percent to 44 percent two years ago.

This could be difficult in a presidential election where Democratic voters traditionally have a larger turnout.

For his part, Puckett, 63, prefers to focus on his record and on local taxes rather than the national or statewide issues.

“I have had the great honor of serving the people of District One for three terms on the Board of County Commissioners and one term on the Board of Education. I have never voted for a property tax increase,” Puckett said.

He has deep roots in Mecklenburg County. Two ancestors signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

His platform for this election includes supporting Lowest Responsible Tax Rates with Priority Based Budgeting, Parent and Student Centered School Management, Realistic Transportation Policies and Safe, Secure and Affordable Police Services.

Incumbent Powell, 57, who currently helps her husband manage his small equipment rental company, is hoping residents will understand how important a role county commissioner plays in their lives.

“More than the federal or state officials, it’s local officials who have a greater impact on their lives,” Powell said.

“That’s why I have been attending community meetings and events ever since we moved down from Delaware in 1986 and long before I was elected to the county commission.”

Powell is a long-time advocate for citizen engagement, environmental stewardship, public parks, public schools and public health.

She is vice chair of the Board of Commissioners.