Purple Heart Homes co-founder John Gallina speaks during a press conference in 2018 at Richard's Coffee Shop in Mooresville. 

John Gallina, the CEO of a Statesville-based nonprofit, is giving Commissioner Jeffery McNeely some competition for a seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.

Gallina, the co-founder of Purple Heart Homes, submitted his resume to the Iredell County GOP for consideration as the party’s executive board decides who will replace Rep. Rena Turner for the 84th District.

“Public service is simply a part of my nature and who I am,” Gallina said.

Gallina said he'd served his country in the Army, North Carolina in the Coast Guard as well as veterans across the country through Purple Heart Homes.

Gallina started Purple Heart Homes with fellow veteran and friend Dale Beaty. He had begun a campaign for a seat in the North Carolina Senate in 2018 when Beaty died in February of a pulmonary embolism caused by the injuries sustained when he was deployed Iraq.

“I backed out of the campaign because my priorities, my family and my friend’s family needed to take my time,” Gallina said. “Now, my family’s taken care of. My house is in order. I feel like I can step back out and offer my service to the public.”

Gallina said three things would make him a good representative for the 84th District. He and his family are from Iredell, going back eight generations.

His experience as a contractor and developer gives him familiarity with how important the industry is for the area. He also has experience with budgeting and wants to make sure the underprivileged are served by the budget.

Finally, he’s had years of experience serving the public by sitting on boards like the Statesville Housing Authority and the Statesville Chamber of Commerce.

“I love my community. I feel very blessed to serve others, to help benefit others. I just want to see Iredell County in a position where we can grow and maintain our community standards,” Gallina said. “I won’t just fill a seat.”

Turner will step down Thursday, and the executive board for the county’s party will nominate someone to take her place on Friday. Gov. Roy Cooper will then appoint the nominee to the 84th District’s seat.

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