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Sharp to seek Parker's seat

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p/brett a. clark--Aviation Director at Elizabeth City State University J. Anthony Sharp sits in front of the flight simulator January 13th. 01/13/08

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The former director of the aviation program at Elizabeth City State University who’s also a member of the local Community Relations Commission is seeking appointment to a soon-to-be vacant seat on the Pasquotank Board of Commissioners.

Anthony Sharp said he’s seeking appointment to the seat that will be vacated by Mayor-elect Bettie Parker, pointing to what he says is a lifetime of experience in public education and a background in politics that make him well-suited for the job of county commissioner.

Sharp, 70, is the third person to confirm they’re seeking to replace Parker, who will vacate her at-large seat on the commission board after she’s sworn in as Elizabeth City mayor Monday. Because Parker is a Democrat, the Pasquotank Democratic Party is tasked with nominating someone to complete her four-year term on the commission board that expires in December 2018.

Sharp, 70, is the third person to confirm they're seeking to replace Parker, who will vacate her at-large seat on the commission board after she’s sworn in as Elizabeth City mayor Monday. Because Parker is a Democrat, the Pasquotank Democratic Party is tasked with nominating someone to complete her four-year term on the commission board that expires in December 2018.

“I feel I could be of great service to the county,” Sharp said in an interview Tuesday, citing his work in aviation instruction at ECSU as well as his service on the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Community Relations Commission.

Sharp said taught at ECSU from 2007 to 2015, and served as director of its aviation science program. The program was small and “barely hanging on” when he took over, he said, and he worked to grow it into what's now one of ECSU's signature programs.

Sharp said he also worked to restart ECSU's internships with the U.S. Coast Guard, and worked with the Elizabeth City Regional Airport. Sharp also said he's an original, and still-serving, board member of the aviation-focused Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies.

Though Sharp has never held public office, he said his work in public education, and in developing programs, speaks to his skills in working with the public and managing complex tasks. Overseeing county operations and use of the public's tax dollars are matters of management, he said.

Sharp also said he's been interested in public office for some time, and was considering running for office regardless of Parker's vacancy. If he is appointed to Parker's seat, he plans to run for a full term next year, he said.

In addition to Sharp, Pasquotank County Library Board Chairman and former county commissioner Charles Jordan is seeking the seat, as is Debra Sheard, a former ombudsman for long-term care facilities who worked as chairwoman of Parker’s mayoral campaign.

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