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Councilman launches election campaign

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Councilman Richard Joyner

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Monday, July 8, 2019

Putting an end to any questions whether he would run, Councilman Richard Joyner filed his notice of candidacy Friday, announcing the kickoff of his campaign for election to the Ward 3 seat on the Rocky Mount City Council.

Joyner, a Baptist pastor and hospital chaplain, filled the unexpired term of Lamont Wiggins, who stepped down to accept an appointment to the bench. Joyner was appointed to the position in May 2018 by the City Council.

"My theme for this election is Community Strong — City United," Joyner said. "By working to strengthen and build up our communities, we can also build city unity based on authentic progress across all sectors. I am committed to working in every way to be accountable and responsive to the citizens of Ward 3 and Rocky Mount for improving community safety, housing and home ownership, jobs, economic, downtown and neighborhood development, city services and fairness, equity and inclusion."

Joyner is pledging to continue to bring his committed leadership style and history of community involvement to bear on the serious efforts needed for progress in Ward 3.

“Serving as your city councilman is a tremendous honor and privilege," Joyner said. "I am asking Ward 3 voters to keep me as your city councilman so I can continue to work hard to ensure that Ward 3 citizens get the advantages of the job opportunities and economic growth in our city as well as the city services we deserve."

Two candidates also filed to challenge Joyner for the Ward 3 seat on Friday, Gwen Wilkins and Nellene Richardson.

Joyner, who moved into Ward 3 last year, has worked in Rocky Mount for more than 22 years and helped start the Rocky Mount Interfaith Summer Worship Series around a dozen years ago. He is a homeowner in the Berkshire Community and worked in Ward 3 from 1999-2001 as a community chaplain and organizer in the Clark and Branch streets community. Two generations of his family have lived in Ward 3.

Joyner, who grew up as a sharecropper, is now through a nonprofit a community farm owner. His leadership in food gardens and social justice has landed him in the Twin County Hall of Fame and as a finalist for the CNN Hero Award.

Joyner is an Army veteran and considers himself to be a prayer warrior. He attended Shaw Divinity School and the College of Chaplains and is a certified clinical pastoral chaplain.

Joyner is holding his first major fundraising event from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The backyard celebration Will be at the home of Mary Masonat at 700 Lincoln Drive in the Berkshire Community in southeast Rocky Mount.

To attend the event, RSVP today with a call or text to 252-294-5439 or email rejoyner953@gmail.com with your full name and number of persons attending.

“I have worked in this first year to begin an effort in the Berkshire Community and other communities to look at increasing home ownership, to establish the city housing council, to begin regular meetings with faith leaders, to add energetic support to the neighborhood associations and to survey the ward for community and economic development needs," Joyner said. "Yes, our needs are great, and my passion to work on those needs is also great."

Anyone who would like Joyner to speak to their neighborhood group or organization or would like to host a house or backyard meeting or information session in Ward 3 can call Joyner's campaign at 252-294-5439 and leave their name, address and contact information.