Special to Iredell Free News

Troutman resident Chris Gilbert has announced his candidacy for the 84th District seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.

Chris Gilbert

A LGBTQIA+ service-connected veteran, Gilbert works as a nurse and has experience volunteering with community leaders to solve local issues.

“Our communities deserve a representative who understands the diverse needs of its citizens while advocating for unity and a progressive path forward,” Gilbert said in his official campaign announcement.

Candidate filing began on December 4 and ends at 12 noon on Friday, December 15. Gilbert is the first Democrat to file for the seat currently occupied by Rep. Jeff McNeely, a Republican.

The general election is scheduled for November 5, 2024. The primary is set for March 5.

Gilbert said he is excited to seek the Democratic nomination.

“Although we are in dark days, together we can believe in a better tomorrow,” he said.

If elected, Gilbert pledged to continue working as an advocate for public education.

“I support strong public schools, universal pre-K and higher paid educators,” he said. “I’m also interested in exploring tiny homes for educators and cost of living adjustments as an added benefit in a rough housing market.”

Gilbert said the 2024 elections would serve as a referendum on reproductive freedom and democracy.

“People should make their own health decisions about their body — not politicians,” he said.

Gilbert also said he would serve as a champion for the Historic Black District project in Statesville, common sense gun legislation, and the legalization of marijuana.

“I look forward to being an advocate for all people of District 84,” he said.