Sampson County Republicans Barbara Moore and Chris Driver tossed their names into the ring Wednesday, both filing for the Clerk of Superior Court post.
Moore and Driver are the third and fourth names to be added to the list of candidates, following Dwight Williams, also a Republican, and Tammy Grady, the lone Democrat in the race as of Wednesday afternoon. Democrats Brent Baggett and Jerry Bradshaw were expected to file later in the week along with Republican Chris Fann.
With a room full of family and friends, Moore was excited to file and the opportunity to run for the position. Moore expressed how her career was spent helping residents and judicial officials.
“I have worked in the court system for 23 years,” Moore said. “I have provided direct support and technical assistance to clerks, judges and district attorneys during my whole career, which has prepared me to come back home and provide that same level of service and opportunities to the citizens of the County of Sampson.”
She attended North Carolina State University and earned a degree in communications. During her days in college, she worked at the Toot-N-Tell in Garner, as a single mother. Her career in public service started at the NC Sheriffs educational, training and standards division working with all 100 elected Sheriffs to certify deputies. She stated it was the apropos of her great-grandfathers, who served as elected Sheriff in Sampson County- William Henry Moore (1928-1932) and Clarence C. Tart. (1938-1946).
Next, she served as the Deputy Director of the NC Conference of District Attorneys, where she developed tatewide training and educational programs for prosecutors and law enforcement officers statewide. She became the the state director of the NC Drug Recognition Expert Program (NCDRE) where law enforcement and prosecutors were trained on the prosecution of drivers impaired on substances other than alcohol.
She also noted that she has a Juris Doctorate from NC Central Law School. In January 2007, she was selected to be the first executive director of the NC Conference of Clerks of Superior Court. She served all 1oo elected Clerks of Superior Court from 2007 to 2016
“My mission was to improve the administrative operations of the offices of the Clerk of Superior Court, increase public accessibility to the courts through the Clerk of Superior Court, and serve as a resource for all 100 Clerks in key areas of court administration,” Moore said. “To accomplish this goal, I served as the primary point of contact to ensure the effective and efficient exchange of information between Clerks of Superior Court and other stakeholders. I provided impact analysis and reports to the Legislature on behalf of the elected Clerks of Superior Court.”
In 2016, she joined the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) as the director of Governmental Affairs, where she works with elected judicial officials and staff to identify needs, solve problems and am tasked with building the necessary bridges and opening lines of communication with Judges, District Attorneys, Court Managers, Magistrates and Clerks of Superior Court. Her team also plans and implements the annual educational programs for all 6,000 court employees to include the elected Clerks of Court and the 2,500 assistant and deputy clerks statewide.
“If I have the honor of your vote and the privilege of serving as your clerk I will use every ounce of knowledge, expertise and passion I have to ensure our court system works effectively and efficiently for you, the citizens of Sampson County,” she stated. “I will use the relationships I have fostered with the NCAOC and other judicial for your benefit. I will glean from the administrative operations, policies and innovations from all 100 counties that I have worked with to immediately enhance access to justice through improved technology and proven programs.”
She said she will allow citizens a more streamlined approach to the Clerk’s office, improving the customer experience by creating better access through online interaction.
”If you live in the far corner of the county you should be able to get some documents form the clerk’s office without having to get in your car, drive and park, go through security and then wait in line.”
She also stated that she wants to work on bringing the domestic violence e-filing, where a victim of domestic violence can apply for a protective order without having to come to the courthouse, but apply at the DV shelter or other designated safe place.
“I will work to promote the expunging process to assist citizens in getting their records cleared to give them the opportunity to get their license, a better job and restore their self-worth and value in the community,” Moore said. “With my experience as the NCDRE director and my current work as the project coordinator for JMARC (Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Courts) I will work with the judges, District Attorneys and other community leaders to provide this much needed resource in the battle against the opioid epidemic. This issue has touched nearly every family in our county on some level. I have a personal desire to see this addressed and stop the destruction of lives and families.
“Being raised in a Christian home on the family farm in Sampson County provided me with the self-discipline and focus I need to dedicate my life to public service. I always strive to put others first and most of all to seek justice, love mercy and walk with humility. I respectfully ask for you to vote for the person who has the right experience. At the right time. For the right reason.”
Her father, Henry E. Moore, is a retired crop duster and founder of their local family hog house, “BOBCAT Farms.” Her mother, Gracie Barber Moore is retired from Union Middle School with over 35 years as a teacher in Sampson County. Moore’s daughter, Krystin Moore McPhail is an art teacher at Union High School and is married to Jared McPhail. Her grandson is Payton Henry McPhail.
Surrounded by his family and friends, Driver signed his name to the dotted line, and made his run for Clerk of Court for Sampson County official. Driver has talked about his intentions since he was released from his duties at the Clerk’s office last year by former Clerk Norman Wayne Naylor.
Driver served as deputy clerk in the estates/special proceedings division in the Clerk’s office for four years before being fired in June 2017. When he announced his intention to run, Driver indicated there was a need for “new vision” in the Clerk’s office.
“I think my accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Driver. “It’s time we have somebody in there who has active leadership, someone who can be held accountable for what is going on there. It’s time for a new vision; it’s time for a new perspective. I know I can do it better.”
Wednesday morning, after making his plans official, Driver said he wants what is best for Sampson County and its residents, and he feels that would be him.
“Sampson County deserves someone who is committed,” Driver shared. “Someone that is in there for the right reasons and sees a vision for the future.”
Driver received the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service in recognition of his efforts to the Sampson County Diaper Bank, which has distributed diapers to more than 2,500 people in Sampson County.
Driver and wife Allison have two young daughters, Taylor and Spencer. Along with the Diaper Bank, Driver is involved with the Downtown Dash Committee, Republican Executive Committee, Young Republicans, Sampson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals.
Also related to Sampson County’s ballot, Raymond Smith Jr. and Robert Freeman Sr. filed for the North Carolina House of Representative District 21 seat that will become vacant upon current Rep. Larry Bell’s decision to no seek reelection.
Tony Denning officially filed for the North Carolina House of Representative District 22 seat, as a Democrat, after current Rep. William Brisson switched parties late last year.
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