Melissa Neader (right) poses for a photo with her husband Mike during her campaign kick-off on November 15.

Special to Iredell Free News

Local businesswoman Melissa Neader announced her candidacy for Iredell County commissioner during a kick-off event Friday night at Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville.

About 65 supporters attended the event. Clay Lunsford and guests provided music. The American Legion Post 65 Honor Guard presented the Colors, Kaitlyn Sparks sang the National Anthem, and Andrew Donawa shared a prayer.

A Republican, Neader outlined her priorities in a short speech.

“I believe in public health, safety and education, and workforce development and compatible industry for good jobs,” she explained. “Recognizing ways to represent the needs of everyone of all ages.”

Three seats on the Board of Commissioners will be on the November 2020 ballot. The official candidate filing period is December 2-20. If there are more than three Republican candidates, a primary election will be held on March 3.

During her announcement, Neader shared personal stories about growing up on Lake Norman, and attending Mt. Mourne Elementary, Brawley Middle and South Iredell High schools before earning an associate degree at Mitchell Community College.

She and her husband Mike own and operate McDonald’s franchises in Iredell County. Neader said her business experience and community involvement have helped her learn to work with people, react to situations that escalate quickly, think on her feet, listen intently and answer carefully.

She told the crowd that she is dedicated to being an active part of communities throughout Iredell County by continuing to volunteer her time in schools, work with veterans, and support law enforcement personnel and first responders. Neader is involved in several non-profit organizations that provide support for children and families.

Her radio shows on WAME and WSIC provide a platform for helping organizations that makes dreams come true, repair hopes and hearts, she said.

“I feel my dedicated and caring involvement in Iredell County strengthen me to have a seat at the table as a county commissioner,” Neader said. “I do not have all the answers. I believe in hard work for finding the answers, gathering input from the people that the issues impact and information from those that have the training and experience, plus respectful open-minded conversation and creative thinking.”

The crowd responded to her comments with loud applause. Afterward Neader said that moment “will stay with her” as she continues her campaign.