HARTSVILLE, TENN. — David Harper, former Society of Plastics Engineers president, lost his first bid for political office.
Harper, who retired from Bayer Corp. earlier this year, ran for commissioner in Macon County, Tenn., northeast of Nashville. Harper, a Democrat, picked up just 31 percent of the vote against incumbent commissioner Fred Clark, an independent.
Harper said running for office was an educational experience. He tried to bring up issues such as needed road and bridge repairs and education. But Clark is very well-known in the rural county. Harper is a relative newcomer.
Harper, a Hartsville resident, retired in May after 20 years of selling resin. The election was held Aug. 6.
He was surprised by the level of voter apathy.
``About one-fourth of the registered voters in the district voted. About one out of three or four people that live in the district is actually registered. This is absolutely amazing to me. People that needed water, people that needed road repair did not even bother to even register to get out and vote for somebody that was fighting for their interest.''
Is Harper debating whether to run again? ``I'd have to think long and hard about it,'' he said.