Longtime resident Bert Connolly is officially a candidate for Iredell County commissioner after filing paperwork with the county elections offfice on Tuesday.

Bert Connolly

A Republican, Connolly is a longtime employee of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, where he serves as the chief deputy. With 28 years of law enforcement experience and extensive budgetary knowledge, he promised to bring a “common-sense approach” to the Board of Commissioners if he is elected.

“Government needs to act within the bounds of the Constitution,” Connolly said in his campaign announcement. “We must protect the Second Amendment, our liberties, our freedom, and rights. Government has become too restrictive and controlling in our lives — just look at the recent actions in Raleigh and Washington with ridiculous controlling mandates, out of control spending, and debt.”

If elected, Connolly said he would rely on his knowledge and experience to make sure Iredell County stays on the right track. In a county with a budget of $236 million, it is critical to have commissioners with budgetary experience, he said.

“To keep a low tax rate, we must promote economic growth and stability,” Connolly explained. “Our population continues to increase and so does the demand on county services. A strong tax base is key to keeping property taxes low. Some of our surrounding counties have property tax rates as high as 79 cents per $100 valuation while Iredell sits at 53.75 cents.”

In order to be effective, Connolly said, commissioners must perform a balancing act of sorts.

“We must maintain what we have but also recruit responsible and reasonable growth to keep taxes low,” he said.

Connolly is also a huge supporter of legislative term limits.

“If we had term limits in place, we would clearly not be in the shape we are in now in Raleigh and Washington, D.C., with career politicians acting as if they are kings and queens,” he said.

If elected, Connolly vowed to serve as a voice for all Iredell County residents.

During the first three days of the candidate filing period — which ends at 12 noon on Friday, December 17, nine Republicans have filed to run in the March 8 primary for three seats on the Board of Commissioners. No Democrats have filed.