Patrick E. Harris announced his candidacy today (Tuesday) for the Johnston County Board of Commissioners District 5 seat. The seat is currently held by incumbent Cookie Pope who was elected in 1994.
“Johnston County has a bright future, and with strong leadership, we will make the critical investments in our education system, emergency response teams, and in a smart economic growth plan to fulfill our powerful vision for growth and opportunity,” Harris said while making his announcement.
Patrick has spent 30 years in emergency response management with a background ranging from the NC Division of Forestry to Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he served on the Southeast Regional Response Team from 1986 to 1994. Patrick was a State Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire & EMS Instructor, and a Fire / Arson Investigator.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science and spent many years teaching management, emergency and medical response classes on a college level. Patrick has published articles on emergency services and response, and served on numerous advisory boards and committees over the past 32 years.
Patrick retired as Director of Emergency Services for the Town of Smithfield where he was responsible for municipal fire and emergency medical services management budget oversight and administration for the Fire and EMS Departments. From July 2011 until November 2017, Patrick served as Chief Executive Officer and CFO for Smithfield Crossings Family Healthcare, PA, Urgent Care of Smithfield, PA, and was co-founder and managing member of Harris Health, LLC. Patrick led both corporations to a successful merger with Med First Immediate and Primary Care in November 2017.
Patrick currently serves as the Chairman of the Johnston County Republican Party and has served on the executive board in different roles since 2015. Also, Patrick is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and was awarded this honor by Governor Pat McCrory in 2015. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is North Carolina’s highest civilian honor and was presented in recognition of his exemplary career as a firefighter and faithful servant to his community.
“I believe that after serving the past 32 years in state and local government, my commitment to small business, fiscal and resource management, as well as my strong family and Christian values give me the experience and decision-making background needed to serve the citizens of Johnston County as a Commissioner,” Harris told WTSB.
Patrick and his wife Victoria reside in Smithfield and has a daughter, Taylor Anne, who lives in Raleigh.