Two retired lawmen running for Board of Commissioners
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, February 22, 2018
A Pitt County commissioner confirmed he will not seek re-election, and two Republicans have filed as candidates for his seat.
A veteran state senator also filed for re-election on Wednesday, while a local pastor is challenging a county commissioner in the Democratic primary.
Commissioner Charles Farley, a Republican who represents District 3, confirmed on Monday he decided to only serve one term on the county Board of Commissioners.
“I have enjoyed this immensely. We have done some really good stuff and the board works well together but it’s not retirement,” Farley said. “As much as I enjoy it, it’s a lot of work. If you acted on every piece of paper that came across your desk it would be a 40-hour a week job.”
District 3 includes portions of Greenville and borders N.C. 33 East to the Beaufort County line.
The two people who filed for the seat on Tuesday are Richard Allsbrook, a retired Greenville Police Department lieutenant, and Cynthia Marcus, who lives in an area between Simpson and Grimesland.
Marcus couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Allsbrook, who retired from the police Department in 2014, is a criminal justice instructor at N.C. Wesleyan in Rocky Mount and East Carolina University.
“I still have that blood in me for public service,” Allsbrook said. “I enjoy public service and I enjoy helping people so I feel like if the citizens will allow me and be open to idea of me serving as their commissioner I would love to serve. I believe it’s one of the highest honors to be a servant. I don’t know if i’m going to be a very good politician but I will be a very good public servant.”
Allsbrook said when he retired in 2014 he thought about running for office but wanted a flexible schedule so he could follow his daughter who was playing softball at Meredith College, and his son, who was in high school.
Allsbrook said he thought now would be a good time to run when he heard Farley might not seek re-election.
Allsbrook said he does not like to idea of making campaign promises because he does not like the idea of potentially breaking a promise. However, he wants to support the public school system’s efforts to upgrade security and to prevent violence.
He also wants to talk about the county’s efforts to create jobs. Allsbrooks said he drives daily by the Edgecombe County location that has been proposed as a location for an automotive manufacturer. He wants to know why Pitt County is never mentioned as a site.
Another retired law enforcement officer also filed as a candidate for the Board of Commissioners.
James Tripp, former chief deputy with the Pitt County Sheriff’s office and current pastor of Holly Hills Free Will Baptist Church, filed to run as a Democrat in the District 2 race. Mary Perkins-Williams is finishing her first term as that district’s commissioner and has filed for re-election.
“I have a great love for Pitt County,” Tripp said. “This is where I made my living, my wife is from Bethel, we raised a daughter in Pitt County and now have two grandchildren we are raising in Pitt County. I wanted to give back to a community that has been so good to me and my family.
“This never had anything to do with Commissioner Williams and I expressed that to her,” he said. “ But this is something that has been laid in my heart because of my concern for Pitt County and what I want to see happen for Pitt County. It has nothing to do with her tenure as commissioner.”
Tripp had planned to run for the seat in 2014, but decided not to because of his obligations to his church and conferences he was involved with. His scheduled has changed and he said he has time to run.
Tripp said he wants to work with schools in the district and create a health and wellness program for the community, along with a parks program.
He also wants to see more business recruited to the area and housing opportunities.
Democratic State Sen. Don Davis filed on Wednesday to run for his fifth term in Senate District 5, which encompasses all of Pitt and Greene counties.
“I am glad to file for the state senate as a Pitt County resident,” Davis said in a news release. “For over two decades, I have been involved in Pitt County, serving on the faculty at (East Carolina University) and (Pitt Community College) as well as holding both party and elected office. I love this community and it is a natural fit.”
Davis grew up in Greene County and was mayor of Snow Hill when he was first elected to the Senate in 2008.
After two rounds of redistricting Davis moved to Pitt County “to follow his constituents.” Under the current plan, Pitt County is 89 percent of the district.
Winterville Councilman Tony Moore and Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb are vying for the Republican Party nomination in the Senate District 5 race. Moore often remarks he was the last Pitt County resident to serve in the state senate which he did from 2003-05.
Davis said supporting ECU’s effort to become a national research institution, including the construction of a new medical school facility, is one of his priorities.
Supporting public schools, and more access to affordable health care also are among his goals.
“These will be my priorities as well as job creation across the district, especially in our rural areas,” Davis said. “We need healthy families with more money in their pockets.”