Harry Parker is seeking re-election to the Sampson County Board of Commissioners, filing Friday morning. With his wife Alvinia by his side and supporters Mary Brown, Eddie Corbett and Brenda Corbett standing behind him, the county commissioner signed his name on the dotted line, making his run for a second term official.
Democrat Parker was elected to represent the county’s 4th district in 2012.
“I really wanted to do this, to continue the work and the projects we’ve got on tap,” Parker stressed as he made his way into the Board of Elections office Friday. “I believe it’s important to finish what you start.”
It’s important, too, he said, for him to carry out some of the promises he made to people in his district, as well as to county employees. “I believe in our employees and have worked to help them get pay raises. I want to see that is carried out, and I want to complete some of the other things we have started over the last four years.”
Parker said his first four years on the Board of Commissioners have been productive and, in some ways, more than expected. “But then again,” he said, smiling, “it’s always more than you expect when you get into something.” But the commissioner said he did believe that he and his colleagues had made some inroads.
“I feel good about the things we have accomplished. I feel good about my first four years, and I believe I have made some significant contributions. I want to continue to work toward growth for our county and to continue opening up opportunities for our county’s future as well as our present. There is still much to be done, and I want to be a part of that, to serve my community.”
Now retired, Parker worked 27 years with Sampson County, first for 13 years as a sheriff’s deputy. A stint as a state employee with the N.C. Justice Academy followed for seven years before Parker returned to work with the county for another 14 years as a fire inspector, later being promoted to fire marshal. He also served in the U.S. Army prior to coming to work with the county.
A Salemburg resident, Parker is married to wife Alvinia Parker, who was a longtime employee at Sampson County Department of Social Services and a part-time nurse with Skill Creation in Clinton. The couple have two children, Maggen Draughon and Travis Parker.
Harry and Alvinia have well over six decades of combined experience serving the county. Parker has served as commissioner for the past three years, winning election in 2012.
“We’ve been instrumental in the community relationships,” Parker has said. “I’ve served my family, my community and I’ve served my county and my country, because I’m a veteran. I believe in serving and I want to be there for the people.”
Edward “E.R.” Mason Sr. filed at the end of last week for re-election to the Clinton City Board of Education. Diane Viser has already announced her intentions to not seek office again. Tracy Dunn is expected to file for Sampson County Board of Education on Tuesday afternoon. Glenn Tart, E. Sonya Powell and Faye Gaye are all seeing their terms expire in 2016. Tart has announced he will not run again.
Sherry Matthews contributed to this article.