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ELECTION 2020: Gerald known in many outlets

Residents of Norwood may recognize one of the five candidates for its town council in several different ways.

Darryl “Pork Chop” Gerald has spent his adult life serving the public, whether it has been for the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, as a paramedic or at South Stanly High School.

In the November election, the newcomer will face incumbents Robbie Cohen, Wes Hartsell and James Lilly along with Tracy Harris for two at-large seats.

After graduating from West Montgomery High School in 1987, Gerald served with the Coast Guard before settling on a career in law enforcement in 1992. He has worked for the sheriff’s offices of both Montgomery and Anson counties, along with the Marshville police force.

The past four years, Gerald has been a deputy with the Stanly sheriff’s office while working as a Stanly County paramedic since 2012.

Fans of the South Stanly High School football squad will also recognize Gerald as the defensive line coach of the Rebel Bulls.

Gerald also has earned many of the certifications which go along with law enforcement and paramedics.

The reason he is running for office, he said, was for citizens to have someone on the council that will listen to their concerns.

“I can’t promise (citizens) the world…or do everything everybody asks, but I’m going to listen. I promise I’ll get back to you with the answer and give you a reason why the decision was made,” Gerald said.

He said he wants decisions that benefit the whole community, not just a couple of people.

“Everybody’s not going to like the decisions we make, but (it will be for) the majority that like an idea versus the few,” Gerald said.

Gerald said the town needs to grow and be able to offer more to people, especially in the spring and summer seasons when the population doubles.

“They’re having to go out of town to spend money,” Gerald said. “What better place to have (people) spend money than in Norwood?”

More shopping opportunities as well as restaurants, both franchises and local places, are needed, he said. He does not want local places to close down in favor of franchises, but said he wants the economy to grow.

Continuing to help people, as well as his willingness to learn, are two reasons Gerald said he believes make him a qualified candidate for the council.

“I just like helping people…I have a really bad injury, but I’m going back to coaching. I’m not going to give that up because it helps kids,” Gerald said referring to being hurt on the sidelines of a football game. He suffered a fractured hip and two broken bones in his leg in an October 2019 game for South versus West Stanly.

Gerald said his vision for the town council is for it to be more open and not “a private club,” he said.

“I want to be able to open it up for people who want to come in and sit in for these meetings and hear their opinions,” he said. “There are other people that live in Norwood. I want to hear what they have to say.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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