Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris, who has served longer than any mayor in Dunn’s history announced Thursday that he will not seek a sixth term in office.
The announcement marks the end of a long career of public service that will end when a new mayor is sworn into office in December.
“I have served 20 years as mayor and served four years in the North Carolina State Senate,” Harris said. “That’s 24 years of elected public service which has been a great honor for me.”
In a written statement, Harris reflected on what he and fellow board members have been able to accomplish.
“Over my five terms, I have been proud to work with our city council to accomplish many great things for our city,” Harris said. “First and foremost, has been the financial management of our taxpayers’ money. Twice, we have won the All-America City Award. I have worked closely with our other elected officials to promote job growth, infrastructure investment, affordable housing and improve our city’s public safety and first responder programs.”
The mayor said he plans to stay involved in the community.
“Dunn is my home,” he said. “I grew up here and have raised my family and built my businesses here. I will remain very active in civic, community and church affairs,” Harris said. “I still have a few businesses to run, too.”
He feels good about the future of his home town.
“When you grow up poor on a small tenant farm, you learn the value of hard work, a good education and the importance of giving back to the community,” Harris said. “Throughout my life, I have worked diligently for the advancement of our city. We have made great progress. Today, I see a city of Dunn that is poised for the future and I believe our future is full of hope and promise.”
Harris operated a successful accounting firm in Dunn for many years before merging it with the Bernard Robinson Company two years ago.
Filing for all municipal office elections opens at noon on July 5. The mayor’s seat and all town council seats in Dunn are on the ballot.