A proposed Sanderson Farms chicken processing plant in Cumberland County, North Carolina, has become an issue in a county commission election that will be held November 4. Four candidates seeking to open seats on the commission were asked about their support for the proposed plant during a September 20 forum.

None of the four candidates expressed a direct support for the proposed $113 million plant, which would be located at the vacant Cedar Creek Business Center in Fayetteville and would employ more than 1,000 people.


However, the level of their opposition differed among candidates, the Fayetteville Observer reported. The question was asked: “Do you support the Sanderson Farms project? Why or Why not?”  Juanita Gonzalez, a Republican, and Larry Lancaster, a Democrat, responded they were not. Republican Michael Boose stated that he did not yet have a firm opinion on the matter, as he still wants to gain more information.

Democrat Charles Evans, the incumbent, said he had initially favored the proposed poultry plant, but if a vote were to come today, he would vote against it because he also felt he needed more information. Evans had voted against a tax incentive package for Sanderson Farms, and added, “My vote remains the same until it’s proven to me differently that environmental concerns are met – that people don’t have to wonder about a number of things.”