ATLANTA — Since David Harper retired last month from Bayer Corp., the Tennessee resident has been selling himself — as a political candidate — as hard as he sold plastic resins.
Harper, the 1995 president of the Society of Plastics Engineers, is running for commissioner in Macon County, Tenn., a rural county along the border with Kentucky, northeast of Nashville. The election is Aug. 6. Harper, a Democrat, is facing incumbent Fred Clark, an independent.
``It's something I have wanted to do for awhile,'' said Harper, 57, at SPE's Annual Technical Conference in Atlanta in April.
Harper's summer plans include pressing the flesh at county fairs, hitting the Macon County social club circuit and plenty of door-to-door campaigning. He retired as manager of Bayer's southern region on May 31, after 20 years of selling resin. He started selling for Mobay Corp., a firm that has since been renamed twice, to Miles Inc. and to Bayer. Before that, he worked at Kusan Corp., a Nashville plastic processor.
Harper lives with his wife, Carol, in a log home.
His SPE work helped him gain confidence as a public speaker, he said.
Regardless of how the election turns out, Harper wants to help local vocational schools develop plastics courses. ``I'd like to see an improvement there,'' he said.