Harry Parker knows a little something about Sampson County government. The Sampson native worked as a county employee for 34 years before retiring four years ago.
“I was a deputy sheriff for abut 13 years,” Parker said just before filing Wednesday for the Dist. 4 county commissioners seat currently held by John Blanton.
Blanton, who started on the board in December 1996, said Wednesday he would not seek re-election because of health issues.
Once learning Blanton wasn’t seeking re-election, Parker decided to toss his hat in the ring, citing his experience in county government.
“I became the county’s fire inspector and then fire marshal. I have enjoyed my retirement, but I just feel like running for the seat now is the right time for me.”
The 66-year-old Parker, who lives in Salemburg, will run as a Democrat. “Mr. Blanton is not running again and we are both in the Fourth District,” he said. “He has done a good job. I am not nervous, I want to bring something fresh and bring some new ideas to the board. I love serving the county and the people here … that is what I am all about.”
If elected, Parker said he will be the only commissioner to have ever worked over three decades for the county.
“To my knowledge, no one on the board has ever worked for the county, or for that long,” he said. “So I feel like with me we can continue on with an effective government. I have written policy and regulations for the commissioners when I was on the Safety Committee. I know about the county’s infrastructure because I have inspected every one of these buildings and I have worked here for so many years. I know a lot of what is going on here and I am excited to be part of this process.”
Parker said that experience as a county employee will only help him if elected to the board.
“Your number one resource in your county is your county employees,” he stressed. “So, I feel like I will be there for them and be their voice. They are taxpayers too. I know we look at building and our construction and all of that, but let’s not forget about our employees because they have to live to, and they are the ones who are going to make or break this county. Right now, they really need some help, some of them are living from paycheck to paycheck and I just want to be that voice for them on the board.”
In addition to the economy and keeping the county thriving, Parker said it is important to be fair and impartial to everyone in the county.
“I feel like I can be an effective tool for the citizens of Sampson County,” he said. “I know that there will be rough times, but if we all work together, we can get through anything, I believe that.”
Parker is married to Alvinia Parker and they have two grown children.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no one else had filed for the Dist. 4 seat.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.